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A CCD-based search for very low mass members of the Pleiades clusterWe have obtained deep charge coupled device (CCD)V and I images of a number of fields near the center of the Pleiades open cluster. We have also obtained imaging data for Praesepe, a very similar cluster in terms of distance and richness but nearly 10 times older than the Pleiades. Because brown dwarfs are predicted to become much fainter and cooler between Pleiades and Praesepe ages, this provides a powerful differential technique for placing constraints on the brown dwarf population in open clusters. Combined with our previously reported observations, we now have data for about 0.4 sq deg in the Pleiades, corresponding roughly to 5% of the area of that cluster. We have searched the new CCD frames for additional Pleiades brown dwarf candidates. Two possible candidates are present, the faintest of which has V approximately equal to 22.5, (V-I)(sub K) approximately equal to 4.6. Because we do not have proper motion data and the colors of these objects are not redder than the reddest known field stars, it is possible that some or all of our candidates are somewhat higher mass field stars rather than Pleiades-age brown dwarfs. Even if all six of the proposed brown dwarf candidates in our 0.4 sq deg field are Pleiades members, the relatively small number found suggests that low mass stars or brown dwarfs do not contribute significantly to the total mass of the cluster.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Stauffer, John R. (Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA United States)
Hamilton, Donald (Max-Planck-Institute fuer Astronomie Heidelburg, Germany)
Probst, Ronald G. (Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, AZ United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: The Astronomical Journal
Volume: 108
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0004-6256
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits