Context. The Chamaeleon II molecular cloud is an active star-forming region that offers an excellent opportunity to study the formation of brown dwarfs in the southern hemisphere.
Aims: Our aims are to identify a population of pre- and proto-brown dwarfs (5σ mass limit threshold of ~0.015 M⊙) and provide information on the formation mechanisms of substellar objects.
Methods: We performed high sensitivity observations at 870 μm using the LABOCA bolometer at the APEX telescope towards an active star-forming region in Chamaeleon II. The data are complemented by an extensive multiwavelength catalogue of sources, which covers the optical to the far-infrared, to study the nature of the LABOCA detections.
Results: We detect 15 cores at 870 μm, and 11 of them show masses in the substellar regime. The most intense objects in the surveyed field correspond to the submillimetre counterparts of the well-known young stellar objects DK Cha and IRAS 12500-7658. We identify a possible proto-brown dwarf candidate (ChaII-APEX-L) with IRAC emission at 3.6 and 4.5 μm.
Conclusions: Our analysis indicates that most of the spatially resolved cores are transient, and that the point-like starless cores in the substellar regime (with masses between 0.016 M⊙ and 0.066 M⊙) could be pre-brown dwarfs cores that are gravitationally unstable if they have radii less than 220 AU to 907 AU (1.2'' to 5'' at 178 pc), respectively, for different masses. ALMA observations will be key to revealing the energetic state of these pre-brown dwarfs candidates.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- May 2016
- stars: pre-main sequence;
- stars: formation;
- stars: low-mass;
- brown dwarfs;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 11 pages, 6 figures