Bayesian analysis to identify new star candidates in nearby young stellar kinematic groups
We present a new method based on a Bayesian analysis to identify new members of nearby young kinematic groups. The analysis minimally takes into account the position, proper motion, magnitude and color of a star, but other observables can be readily added (e.g. radial velocity, distance). We use this method to find new young low-mass stars in the β Pictoris (β PMG) and AB Doradus (ABDMG) moving groups and in the TW Hydrae (TWA), Tucana-Horologium (THA), Columba, Carina and Argus associations. Starting from a sample of 758 mid-KM (K5V-M5V) stars showing youth indicators such as Hα\ and X-ray emission, our analysis yields 215 new highly probable low-mass members of the kinematic groups analyzed. One is in TWA, 37 in β PMG, 17 in THA, 20 in Columba, 6 in Carina, 50 in Argus, 33 in ABDMG, and the remaining 51 candidates are likely young but have an ambiguous membership to more than one association. The false alarm rate for new candidates is estimated to be 5% for β PMG and TWA, 10% for THA, Columba, Carina and Argus, and 14% for ABDMG. Our analysis confirms the membership of 58 stars proposed in the literature. Firm membership confirmation of our new candidates will require measurement of their radial velocity (predicted by our analysis), parallax and lithium 6708 \AA equivalent width. We have initiated these follow-up observations for a number of candidates and we have identified two stars (2MASSJ0111+1526, 2MASSJ0524-1601) as very strong candidate members of the β PMG and one strong candidate member (2MASSJ0533-5117) of the THA; these three stars have radial velocity measurements confirming their membership and lithium detections consistent with young age. Finally, we proposed that six stars should be considered as new bona fide members of β PMG and ABDMG, one of which being first identified in this work, the others being known candidates from the literature.