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Astron. Astrophys. 339, 405-408 (1998)

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1. Introduction

The recent discoveries of free floating brown dwarfs by the Calan-ESO proper motion survey (Ruiz et al. 1997), the DENIS mini survey (Delfosse et al. 1997, Tinney et al. 1997), the BRI survey (Irwin et al. 1991, Tinney 1998) and the UK Schmidt deep photographic survey (Hawkins et al. 1998) have now firmly established the long suspected existence of a population of single brown dwarfs in the disk of the Galaxy. Among the many interesting questions raised by these important discoveries is the local mass density of such objects. Although based at present on very low number statistics Ruiz et al. (1997) have pointed out that brown dwarfs may contribute significantly to the local mass budget. It is the aim of this note to assess the various density estimates and relate them to the total local mass density.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: October 21, 1998