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A search for free floating planets in the young cluster IC348

M. S. Nanda Kumar

Star formation theories predict the ejection of very low mass dwarfs and planetary mass objects that are thought to be abandoned by their hosts. These objects are expected to freely travel in space and there has been a quest to search for free floating planets. Recent studies have claimed the detection of a handful of such objects in the Galactic plane. If these results are true, a swath of such objects should exist around young clusters, because they have been ejected recently.
The 2 Myr old young cluster IC348 in Perseus molecular cloud is probably the most observed and studied (even more than the Great Orion Nebula) young cluster till date. Spitzer Space Telescope with its unprecedented sensitivity in the infrared, has peered at this cluster numerous times in the context of various science goals. I combined all such observations of this field till date to produce a super deep mosaic of IC348 in the 3.6 and 4.5 micron bands in an effort to search for free floating objects and examine the mass function. These images, produced with advanced image processing techniques were then used to obtain a highly accurate 1% photometry. In this seminar I will present the results of this work, which provides a depth and accuracy which has not been obtained thus far.

2011 October 14, 13:30

Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (Classroom)
Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto

Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia