Using the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope, we have obtained mid-infrared photometry for 25 and 18 low-mass members of the IC 348 and Chamaeleon I star-forming clusters, respectively (>M6, M ≲ 0.08 M⊙). We find that 42% ± 13% and 50% ± 17% of the two samples exhibit excess emission indicative of circumstellar disks. In comparison, the disk fractions for stellar members of these clusters are 33% ± 4% and 45% ±7% (M0-M6, 0.7 M⊙ ≳ M ≳ 0.1 M⊙). The similarity in the disk fractions of stars and brown dwarfs is consistent with a common formation mechanism and indicates that the raw materials for planet formation are available around brown dwarfs as often as around stars.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science