NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0335

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Proposal Information for 2010A-0335


PI: Beth Biller, University of Hawai'i, biller@ifa.hawaii.edu
Address: Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

CoI: Katelyn Allers, University of Hawai'i

Title: A Systematic Survey for Very Young Planetary Mass Objects

Abstract: We seek to identify and obtain photometry for young planetary mass objects and brown dwarfs in the southern star-forming regions Barnard 59 and Corona Australis (<3 Myr, ~130 pc) through deep izJHK Blanco 4-m MOSAIC and ISPI imaging combined with Spitzer IRAC archival data. JHK data was acquired in May 2008 - we propose here for I band MOSAIC data which will complete this survey. \bf i and z band data are essential for removing extragalactic contaminants from our sample - a substellar object will have a very red i-J=4-6 mag, while a background galaxy will appear comparatively blue. These observations (combined with northern CFHT 2007A, 2007B, and 2008A observations of MBM12, Serpens, and NGC 1333) will complete an ongoing optical-infrared survey of a number of young star-forming regions spanning a considerably range of sizes and densities. By observing a variety of cluster environments, we can determine how the distribution of young low mass objects depends on cluster size and density. We will be able to detect substellar objects below the deuterium burning limit and constrain the (often very uncertain) substellar/planetary mass IMF in these clusters down to ~6 M_Jup objects. Measuring the low-mass IMF of clusters of a variety of size and density will allow us to determine how much overall stellar density affects the shape of the low-mass IMF. We will propose for additional VLT LGS AO time to search for substellar companions around any planetary mass objects / brown dwarfs identified as part of this program. \bf One night in July 2009 was previously allocated to this program, however, that night was a 100% weather loss.


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