ISOCAM observations of the rho Ophiuchi cloud: Luminosity and mass functions of the pre-main sequence embedded cluster

Bontemps, S., André, P., Kaas, A. A., Nordh, L., Olofsson, G., Huldtgren, M., Abergel, A., Blommaert, J., Boulanger, F., Burgdorf, M., Cesarsky, C. J., Cesarsky, D., Copet, E., Davies, J., Falgarone, E., Lagache, G., Montmerle, T., Pérault, M., Persi, P., Prusti, T., Puget, J. L., and Sibille, F.
Astronomy and Astrophysics, v.372, p.173-194 (2001)


We present the results of the first extensive mid-infrared (IR) imaging survey of the rho Ophiuchi embedded cluster, performed with the ISOCAM camera on board the ISO satellite. The main rho Ophiuchi molecular cloud L1688, as well as the two secondary clouds L1689N and L1689S, have been completely surveyed for point sources at 6.7 mu m and 14.3 mu m. A total of 425 sources are detected in ~ 0.7 deg2, including 16 Class I, 123 Class II, and 77 Class III young stellar objects (YSOs). Essentially all of the mid-IR sources coincide with near-IR sources, but a large proportion of them are recognized for the first time as YSOs. Our dual-wavelength survey allows us to identify essentially all the YSOs with IR excess in the embedded cluster down to Fnu ~ 10-15 mJy. It more than doubles the known population of Class II YSOs and represents the most complete census to date of newly formed stars in the rho Ophiuchi central region. There are, however, reasons to believe that several tens of Class III YSOs remain to be identified below Lstar ~ 0.2 Lsolar. The mid-IR luminosities of most ( ~ 65%) Class II objects are consistent with emission from purely passive circumstellar disks. The stellar luminosity function of the complete sample of Class II YSOs is derived with good accuracy down to Lstar ~ 0.03 Lsolar. It is basically flat (in logarithmic units) below Lstar ~ 2 Lsolar, exhibits a possible local maximum at Lstar ~ 1.5 Lsolar, and sharply falls off at higher luminosities. A modeling of the luminosity function, using available pre-main sequence tracks and plausible star formation histories, allows us to derive the mass distribution of the Class II YSOs which arguably reflects the initial mass function (IMF) of the embedded cluster. After correction for the presence of unresolved binary systems, we estimate that the IMF in rho Ophiuchi is well described by a two-component power law with a low-mass index of -0.35+/-0.25, a high-mass index of -1.7 (to be compared with the Salpeter value of -1.35), and a break occurring at Mflat=0.55+/-0.25 Msolar. This IMF is flat with no evidence for a low-mass cutoff down to at least ~ 0.06 Msolar. This work is based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, The Netherlands, and the UK) with the participation of ISAS and NASA. Table 1 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to (} or via