The initial mass function of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in Taurus

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By combining deep optical imaging and infrared spectroscopy with data from the Two-Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) and from previous studies (e.g., Briceño et al.), I have measured the initial mass function (IMF) for a reddening-limited sample in four fields in the Taurus star-forming region. This IMF is representative of the young populations within these fields for masses above 0.02 M. Relative to the similarly derived IMF for the Trapezium Cluster (Luhman et al.), the IMF for Taurus exhibits a modest deficit of stars above 1 solar mass (i.e., steeper slope), the same turnover mass (∼0.8 M), and a significant deficit of brown dwarfs. If the IMF in Taurus were the same as that in the Trapezium, 12.8 ± 1.8 brown dwarfs (>0.02 M) are expected in these Taurus fields where only one brown dwarf candidate is found. These results are used to test theories of the IMF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1044-1055
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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