Dusty disks at the bottom of the initial mass function
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Isolated planetary-mass objects (IPMOs) have masses close to or below the deuterium-burning mass limit (similar to 15 M-Jup)-at the bottom of the stellar initial mass function. We present an exploratory survey for disks in this mass regime, based on a dedicated observing campaign with the Spitzer Space Telescope. Our targets include the full sample of spectroscopically confirmed IPMOs in the sigma Orionis cluster, a total of 18 sources. In the mass range, we identify four objects with > 13 sigma color excess at a wavelength of 8.0 mu m, interpreted as emission 8-20 M-Jup from dusty disks. We thus establish that a substantial fraction of IPMOs harbor disks with lifetimes of at least 2 4 Myr (the likely age of the cluster), indicating an origin from core collapse and fragmentation processes. The disk frequency in the IPMO sample is 29 +/-(16)(13)% at 8.0 mu m, very similar to what has been found for stars and brown dwarfs (similar to 30%). The object S Ori 70, a candidate 3 M-Jup object in this cluster, shows IRAC colors in excess of the typical values for field T dwarfs (on a 2 sigma level), possibly due to disk emission or low gravity. This is a new indication for youth and thus an extremely low mass for S Ori 70.
Scholz , A & Jayawardhana , R 2008 , ' Dusty disks at the bottom of the initial mass function ' Astrophysical Journal Letters , vol 672 , no. 1 , pp. L49-L52 . DOI: 10.1086/526340
Astrophysical Journal Letters
(c) 2008 The American Astronomical Society. Deposited according to publisher policy. The definitive version is available from http://iopscience.iop.org
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