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Spectroscopy of brown dwarf candidates in IC 348 and the determination of its substellar IMF down to planetary masses

Abstract : Context. Brown dwarfs represent a sizable fraction of the stellar content of our Galaxy and populate the transition between the stellar and planetary mass regime. There is, however, no agreement on the processes responsible for their formation.
Aims: We have conducted a large survey of the young, nearby cluster IC 348, to uncover its low-mass brown dwarf population and have studied the cluster properties in the substellar regime.
Methods: Deep optical and near-IR images taken with MegaCam and WIRCam at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) were used to select photometric candidate members. A spectroscopic follow-up of a large fraction of the candidates was conducted to assess their youth and membership.
Results: We confirmed spectroscopically 16 new members of the IC 348 cluster, including 13 brown dwarfs, contributing significantly to the substellar census of the cluster, where only 30 brown dwarfs were previously known. Five of the new members have a L0 spectral type, the latest-type objects found to date in this cluster. At 3 Myr, evolutionary models estimate these brown dwarfs to have a mass of ~13 MJup. Combining the new members with previous census of the cluster, we constructed the initial mass function (IMF) complete down to 13 MJup.
Conclusions: The IMF of IC 348 is well fitted by a log-normal function and we do not see evidence for variations of the mass function down to planetary masses when compared to other young clusters.

Based on observations obtained with WIRCam, a joint project of CFHT, Taiwan, Korea, Canada, France, and MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institute National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawaii.

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Submitted on : Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 7:54:25 AM
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C. Alves de Oliveira, E. Moraux, J. Bouvier, G. Duchêne, H. Bouy, et al.. Spectroscopy of brown dwarf candidates in IC 348 and the determination of its substellar IMF down to planetary masses. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2013, 549, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201220229⟩. ⟨insu-03617533⟩

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