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The Substellar Population in the Young σ Orionis Cluster, Spatial Distribution

  • V. J. S. Béjar
  • J. A. Caballero
  • R. Rebolo
  • M. R. Zapatero Osorio
  • D. Barrado Y. Navascués
Chapter

Abstract

We review different surveys, in the optical and infrared, conducted in the very young (age 1–8 Myr), nearby (d ~ 350 pc) σ Orionis cluster aimed to characterize the substellar population. We describe spectral characteristics of very low mass stars, brown dwarfs and planetary mass objects in the cluster with spectral types from K7 to T6. We study the spatial distribution of the substellar population detected in a I Z J survey covering an area of 1.12 deg.2 We find that the radial distribution of substellar objects can be well fitted by an exponential law , with a central density (ρ o) of 0.26 ± 0.03 objects/arcmin2 and a characteristic radius (r o) of 8.8 arcmin ± 0.6 (equivalent to 0.90 ± 0.06 pc at the distance of the cluster). We discuss the presence of possible inhomogeneities in this distribution due to the existence of subclustering. We also compare the spatial distribution of the substellar population with previously known stars in the cluster. We report the initial mass spectrum in the substellar domain.

Keywords

brown dwarfs stellar clusters stars: σ Orionis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. J. S. Béjar
    • 1
  • J. A. Caballero
    • 1
  • R. Rebolo
    • 1
  • M. R. Zapatero Osorio
    • 2
  • D. Barrado Y. Navascués
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Astrofísica de CanariasSpain
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Astrofisíca Espacial y Física FundamentalSpain

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