LHS 292 and the luminosity function of the nearby M dwarfs
Preliminary astrometry, broadband BVI photometry, and low-resolution (10 Å) spectrophotometry covering λλ4800 - 7800 Å are presented that demonstrate that LHS 292 is the lowest-luminosity M dwarf known within 5.2 pc of the Sun. The results show pi<SUB>abs</SUB> = 0.217±0.005" (m.e.), V = 15.60±0.01 (m.e.), M<SUB>V</SUB> = 17.28±0.05 (m.e.), and the spectral type is M6.5-7 V. Since the spectrum shows strong emission lines and the star has a relatively low space motion, it should be considered a flare star candidate.