Substellar Objects in Nearby Young Clusters (SONYC): Towards an Unbiased Census

SONYC, "Substellar Objects in Nearby Young Clusters", is an ongoing project to provide a complete census of the brown dwarf and planemo (free-floating objects with masses comparable to those of massive planets)population in nearby young clusters. The SONYC survey relies on extremely deep wide-field optical and near-infrared imaging and follow-up spectroscopy. We make use of Subaru, VLT, Gemini, CTIO, NTT, and Spitzer to probe the bottom end of the IMF to unprecedented levels. I will discuss the current state of knowledge and the main issues in the studies of the IMF at the low-mass end. I will report on the current status of the SONYC survey and present our results on NGC 1333, Rho Ophiuchus, and Chamaeleon-I. I will also present our future plans and discuss the currently used observing strategies. Finally, I will address the completeness of the current brown dwarf census in young clusters and the implications of our findings for star formation theory.


27/01/2011 - 13:00
Koraljka Muzic
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Canada