A search of more than 3000 deg 2 of high-latitude sky by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey has yielded 251 faint high-latitude carbon stars (FHLCs), the large majority previously uncataloged. We present homogeneous spectroscopy, photometry, and astrometry for the sample. The objects lie in the 15.6 < r < 20.8 range and exhibit a wide variety of apparent photospheric temperatures, ranging from spectral types near M to as early as F. Proper-motion measurements for 222 of the objects show that at least 50%, and quite probably more than 60%, of these objects are actually low-luminosity dwarf carbon (dC) stars, in agreement with a variety of recent, more limited investigations that show that such objects are the numerically dominant type of star with C 2 in the spectrum. This SDSS homogeneous sample of ∼110 dC stars now constitutes 90% of all known carbon dwarfs and will grow by another factor of 2-3 by the completion of the survey. As the spectra of the dC and the faint halo giant C stars are very similar (at least at spectral resolution of 10 3), despite a difference of 10 mag in luminosity, it is imperative that simple luminosity discriminants other than proper motion be developed. We use our enlarged sample of FHLCs to examine a variety of possible luminosity criteria, including many previously suggested, and find that, with certain important caveats, JHK photometry may segregate dwarfs and giants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science