November 2003 • 2003AJ....126.2421C
Abstract • We present the initial results of our effort to create a statistically robust, volume-limited sample of ultracool dwarfs from the Two Micron All Sky Survey Second Incremental Data Release. We are engaged in a multifaceted search for nearby late-type objects, and this is the first installment of our search using purely photometric selection. The goal of this work is a determination of the low-mass star and brown dwarf luminosity function in the infrared. Here we outline the construction of the sample, dubbed 2MU2, and present our first results, including the discovery of 186 M7-L6 dwarfs-47 of which are likely to be within 20 pc of the Sun. These results represent 66% of the ultracool candidates in our sample yet constitute a 127% increase in the number of ultracool dwarfs known within the volume searched (covering 40% of the sky out to 20 pc). In addition, we have identified 10 M4-M6.5 objects that are likely to be within 20 pc (or within 1 σ). Finally, based on these initial data, we present a preliminary luminosity function and discuss several interesting features of the partial sample presented here. Once our sample is complete, we will use our measured luminosity function to constrain the mass function of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs.