SLoWPoKES Interactive Data Portal

50"x50" gri composite images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey of the CPM pairs identified in the SLoWPoKES catalog. Pictured are high-mass ratio pairs (top row), identical twins (middle row), white dwarf-disk dwarf pairs (bottom row, left), and halo SD pairs (bottom row, right). Spectral types based on their r-z colors are shown. Overall, 1342 wide, low-mass binaries were identified (Dhital et al. 2010).

The aims of the SLoWPoKES (Sloan Low-mass Wide Pairs of Kinematically Equivalent Stars) project are to:

  • Identify low-mass (mid-K to M spectral types), wide (s > 1000 AU) pairs using astrometric and photometric data.
  • Study the properties of wide, low-mass binaries — e.g., distribution of frequency, physical separation, and mass-ratios — and their impication on star formation models.
  • Study the higher-order-multiplicity and its implications on stability and formation scenarios of wide pairs.
  • Exploit the coevality and similar evolutionary history - while being dynamically independent - of these pairs to empirically measure and/or constrain various properties of low-mass stars, especially the metallicity and mass-age-activity-rotation relations.
  • Study the dynamical history and structure of the Milky Way using the disruption rate of wide, low-mass pairs.
  • Identify a subset of wide, low-mass binaries that would be optimum for detection of gaseous and terrestrial planets in future astrometric missions like SIM-Lite.

The SLoWPoKES interative data portal has two overarching goals:

  1. Serve as a repository for large data sets of low-mass stars and allow the community to easily access existent photometric and spectroscopic data, to match input data sets to existing ones, and to conduct target searches for their own observations. Currently, the SLoWPoKES catalog of wide binaries (Dhital et al. 2010), SDSS DR7 spectroscopic L dwarf catalog (Schmidt et al. 2010), SDSS DR7 spectroscopic M dwarf catalog (West et al. 2011), and the unresolved white dwarf–M dwarf binaries from SDSS (Morgan et al. 2012) are available.
  2. Make the six-dimensional Galactic model (Dhital et al. 2010) available to the community with a web-based front end. While the model has been mainly used to calculate the probability that a given visual binary candidate is a chance alignment, it has been used to estimate the likelihood of being part of the thin disk vs. thick disk (e.g., Law et al. 2010) and to calculate mean velocities of stellar populations (e.g., Irwin et al. 2011).