A survey for planetary-mass brown dwarfs in the Chamaeleon I star-forming region
Esplin et al
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-infrared spectroscopy at Gemini Observatory, we have confirmed six of the candidates as new late-type members of Chamaeleon I >M7.75. 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 M_Jup according to evolutionary models. That object and two other new members have redder mid-IR colors than young photospheres at greater than 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_Jup, deeper observations are needed to measure the minimum mass of the initial mass function in Chamaeleon I.