A survey for planetary-mass brown dwarfs in the chamaeleon i star-forming region

T. L. Esplin, K. L. Luhman, J. K. Faherty, E. E. Mamajek, J. J. Bochanski

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We have performed a search for planetary-mass brown dwarfs in the Chamaeleon I star-forming region using proper motions and photometry measured from optical and infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, and ground-based facilities. Through near-IR spectroscopy at Gemini Observatory, we have confirmed six of the candidates as new late-type members of Chamaeleon I (≥M8). One of these objects, Cha J11110675-7636030, has the faintest extinction-corrected M K among known members, which corresponds to a mass of 3-6 according to evolutionary models. That object and two other new members have redder mid-IR colors than young photospheres at ≤M9.5, which may indicate the presence of disks. However, since those objects may be later than M9.5 and the mid-IR colors of young photospheres are ill-defined at those types, we cannot determine conclusively whether color excesses from disks are present. If Cha J11110675-7636030 does have a disk, it would be a contender for the least-massive known brown dwarf with a disk. Since the new brown dwarfs that we have found extend below our completeness limit of 6-10 M , deeper observations are needed to measure the minimum mass of the initial mass function in Chamaeleon I.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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