EDP Sciences
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Volume 425, Number 3, October III 2004
Page(s) 927 - 936
Section Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041081

A&A 425, 927-936 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041081

Substellar objects in star formation regions: A deep near infrared study in the Serpens cloud

A. Klotz1, E. Caux1, J.-L. Monin2, 3 and N. Lodieu4

1  CESR CNRS-UPS, BP 4346, 31028 - Toulouse Cedex 04, France
    e-mail: klotz@cesr.fr
2  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire de Grenoble - BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 09, France
3  Institut Universitaire de France
4  Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany

(Received 14 April 2004 / Accepted 6 May 2004)

We present near infrared ( J, H and  Ks) observations of a $5'\times 10'$ sample field in the Serpens Star Formation region obtained with SOFI at the NTT. These observations are sensitive enough to detect a 20  $M_{\rm Jup}$ brown dwarf through an extinction of  $A_{\rm V}\sim 16$ and are used to build an infrared census of this field in the cluster. From photometry and mass-luminosity models, we have developed a detailed methodology to extract quantitative parameters (distance modulus, extinction, spectral type, masses) for objects observed towards and inside the Serpens molecular cloud. An extinction map of the region is derived allowing us to disentangle cloud members from background field objects. Luminosities and masses for 14 low-mass stars and substellar object candidate members of the cluster are derived. Three of these objects have masses compatible with the brown dwarf regime and one of them (BD-Ser 1) was observed spectroscopically with ISAAC at the VLT, confirming its substellar status. Long-term photometric variability of BD-Ser 1 could be consistent with signs of accretion.

Key words: stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs -- ISM: clouds -- ISM: individual objects: Serpens molecular cloud

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