Exploring the planetary-mass population in the Upper Scorpius association

N. Lodieu*, N. C. Hambly, N. J. G. Cross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We aim at identifying very low-mass isolated planetary-mass member candidates in the nearest OB association to the Sun, Upper Scorpius (USco) (145 pc; 5–10 Myr), to constrain the form and shape of the luminosity function and mass spectrum in this regime. We conducted a deep multiband (Y = 21.2, J = 20.5, Z = 22.0 mag) photometric survey of 6 deg2 in the central region of USco. We extend the current sequence of astrometric and spectroscopic members by about two magnitudes in Y and one magnitude in J, reaching potentially T-type free-floating members in the association with predicted masses below 5 Jupiter masses, well into the planetary-mass regime. We extracted a sample of 57 candidates in this area and present infrared spectroscopy confirming two of them as young L-type members with characteristic spectral features of 10-Myr-old brown dwarfs. Among the 57 candidates, we highlight 10 new candidates fainter than the coolest members previously confirmed spectroscopically. We do not see any obvious sign of decrease in the mass spectrum of the association, suggesting that star processes can form substellar objects with masses down to 4–5 Jupiter masses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2265-2279
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date12 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • astro-ph.SR


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