EDP Sciences
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Volume 395, Number 3, December I 2002
Page(s) 813 - 821
Section Stellar clusters and associations
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20021262

A&A 395, 813-821 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021262

A substellar mass function for Alpha Persei

D. Barrado y Navascués1, J. Bouvier2, J. R. Stauffer3, N. Lodieu4 and M. J. McCaughrean4

1  Laboratorio de Astrofísica Espacial y Física Fundamental, INTA, PO Box 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain
2  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire de Grenoble, Université Joseph Fourier, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
    e-mail: jerome.bouvier@obs.ujf-grenoble.fr
3  IPAC, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
    e-mail: stauffer@ipac.caltech.edu
4  Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
    e-mail: nlodieu@aip.de,mjm@aip.de

(Received 18 March 2002 / Accepted 28 August 2002 )

We present a deep, wide-field optical survey of the young stellar cluster Alpha Per, in which we have discovered a large population of candidate brown dwarfs. Subsequent infrared photometric follow-up shows that the majority of them are probable or possible members of the cluster, reaching to a minimum mass of 0.035  $M_\odot$. We have used this list of members to derive the luminosity and mass functions of the substellar population of the cluster ( $\alpha=0.59\pm0.05$, when expressed in the mass spectrum form $\phi \propto M^{-\alpha}$) and compared its slope to the value measure for the Pleiades. This comparison indicates that the two cluster mass functions are, indeed, very similar.

Key words: open clusters and associations: individual: Alpha Per -- stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs -- stars: luminosity, mass functions

Offprint request: D. Barrado y Navascués, barrado@laeff.esa.es

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