Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, Observatoire de Grenoble, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France e-mail: Catarina.Oliveira@obs.ujf-grenoble.fr
2 Herschel Science Centre, European Space Agency (ESAC), PO Box 78, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
3 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98bis Bd Arago, 75014 Paris, France
4 Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation, 65-1238 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, HI 96743, USA
Accepted: 27 February 2010
Context. Star formation theories are currently divergent regarding the fundamental physical processes that dominate the substellar regime. Observations of nearby young open clusters allow the brown dwarf (BD) population to be characterised down to the planetary mass regime, which ultimately must be accommodated by a successful theory.
Aims. We hope to uncover the low-mass population of the ρ Ophiuchi molecular cloud and investigate the properties of the newly found brown dwarfs.
Methods. We used near-IR deep images (reaching completeness limits of approximately 20.5 mag in J and 18.9 mag in H and Ks) taken with the Wide Field IR Camera (WIRCam) at the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) to identify candidate members of ρ Oph in the substellar regime. A spectroscopic follow-up of a small sample of the candidates allows us to assess their spectral type and subsequently their temperature and membership.
Results. We select 110 candidate members of the ρ Ophiuchi molecular cloud, from which 80 have not previously been associated with the cloud. We observed a small sample of these and spectroscopically confirm six new brown dwarfs with spectral types ranging from M6.5 to M8.25.
Key words: stars: formation / stars: low-mass / brown dwarfs / planetary systems
Based on observations obtained with WIRCam, a joint project of CFHT, Taiwan, Korea, Canada, France, at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institute National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawaii. Based on observations made at the ESO La Silla and Paranal Observatory under program 083.C-0092. Based in part on data collected at Subaru Telescope, and obtained from the SMOKA, which is operated by the Astronomy Data Center, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Research supported by the Marie Curie Research Training Network CONSTELLATION under grant No. MRTN-CT- 2006-035890.
Table 4 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/515/A75
© ESO, 2010