31 research outputs found

    Detection of 84-GHz class I methanol maser emission towards NGC 253

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    We have investigated the central region of NGC 253 for the presence of 84.5-GHz (51405_{-1}\rightarrow4_0E) methanol emission using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. We present the second detection of 84.5-GHz class~I methanol maser emission outside the Milky Way. This maser emission is offset from dynamical centre of NGC 253, in a region with previously detected emission from class~I maser transitions (36.2-GHz 41304_{-1}\rightarrow3_0E and 44.1-GHz 70617_{0}\rightarrow6_1A+^{+} methanol lines) . The emission features a narrow linewidth (\sim12 km s1^{-1}) with a luminosity approximately 5 orders of magnitude higher than typical Galactic sources. We determine an integrated line intensity ratio of 1.2±0.41.2\pm0.4 between the 36.2 GHz and 84.5-GHz class I methanol maser emission, which is similar to the ratio observed towards Galactic sources. The three methanol maser transitions observed toward NGC 253 each show a different distribution, suggesting differing physical conditions between the maser sites and that observations of additional class~I methanol transitions will facilitate investigations of the maser pumping regime.Comment: Accepted into ApJL 12 October 2018. 10 pages, 3 Figures and 2 Table

    Detection of a methanol megamaser in a major-merger galaxy

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    We have detected emission from both the 4_{-1}-3_{0} E (36.2~GHz) class I and 7_{-2}-8_{-1} E (37.7~GHz) class II methanol transitions towards the centre of the closest ultra-luminous infrared galaxy Arp 220. The emission in both the methanol transitions show narrow spectral features and have luminosities approximately 8 orders of magnitude stronger than that observed from typical class I methanol masers observed in Galactic star formation regions. The emission is also orders of magnitude stronger than the expected intensity of thermal emission from these transitions and based on these findings we suggest that the emission from the two transitions are masers. These observations provides the first detection of a methanol megamaser in the 36.2 and 37.7 GHz transitions and represents only the second detection of a methanol megamaser, following the recent report of an 84 GHz methanol megamaser in NGC1068. We find the methanol megamasers are significantly offset from the nuclear region and arise towards regions where there is Ha emission, suggesting that it is associated with starburst activity. The high degree of correlation between the spatial distribution of the 36.2 GHz methanol and X-ray plume emission suggests that the production of strong extragalactic class I methanol masers is related to galactic outflow driven shocks and perhaps cosmic rays. In contrast to OH and H2O megamasers which originate close to the nucleus, methanol megamasers provide a new probe of feedback (e.g. outflows) processes on larger-scales and of star formation beyond the circumnuclear starburst regions of active galaxies.Comment: Accepted for publication in ApJ

    The Carina Nebula and Gum 31 molecular complex: II. The distribution of the atomic gas revealed in unprecedented detail

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    We report high spatial resolution observations of the HI 21cm line in the Carina Nebula and the Gum 31 region obtained with the Australia Telescope Compact Array. The observations covered \sim 12 deg2^2 centred on l=287.5deg,b=1degl= 287.5\deg,b = -1\deg, achieving an angular resolution of \sim 35 arcseconds. The HI map revealed complex filamentary structures across a wide range of velocities. Several "bubbles" are clearly identified in the Carina Nebula Complex, produced by the impact of the massive star clusters located in this region. An HI absorption profile obtained towards the strong extragalactic radio source PMN J1032--5917 showed the distribution of the cold component of the atomic gas along the Galactic disk, with the Sagittarius-Carina and Perseus spiral arms clearly distinguishable. Preliminary calculations of the optical depth and spin temperatures of the cold atomic gas show that the HI line is opaque (τ\tau \gtrsim 2) at several velocities in the Sagittarius-Carina spiral arm. The spin temperature is 100\sim100 K in the regions with the highest optical depth, although this value might be lower for the saturated components. The atomic mass budget of Gum 31 is 35%\sim35 \% of the total gas mass. HI self absorption features have molecular counterparts and good spatial correlation with the regions of cold dust as traced by the infrared maps. We suggest that in Gum 31 regions of cold temperature and high density are where the atomic to molecular gas phase transition is likely to be occurring.Comment: 20 pages, 1 table, 16 Figures, Accepted for Publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Journa

    Accurate OH maser positions II. the Galactic Center region

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    We present high spatial resolution observations of ground-state OH masers, achieved using the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). These observations were conducted towards 171 pointing centres, where OH maser candidates were identified previously in the Southern Parkes Large-Area Survey in Hydroxyl (SPLASH) towards the Galactic Center region, between Galactic longitudes of 355355^{\circ} and 55^{\circ} and Galactic latitudes of 2-2^{\circ} and +2+2^{\circ}. We detect maser emission towards 162 target fields and suggest that 6 out of 9 non-detections are due to intrinsic variability. Due to the superior spatial resolution of the follow-up ATCA observations, we have identified 356 OH maser sites in the 162 of the target fields with maser detections. Almost half (161 of 356) of these maser sites have been detected for the first time in these observations. After comparing the positions of these 356 maser sites to the literature, we find that 269 (76\%) sites are associated with evolved stars (two of which are planetary nebulae), 31 (9\%) are associated with star formation, four are associated with supernova remnants and we were unable to determine the origin of the remaining 52 (15\%) sites. Unlike the pilot region (\citealt{Qie2016a}), the infrared colors of evolved star sites with symmetric maser profiles in the 1612 MHz transition do not show obvious differences compared with those of evolved star sites with asymmetric maser profiles.Comment: 24 pages, 12 figures, accepted by ApJ

    MALT-45: A 7mm survey of the southern Galaxy - II. ATCA follow-up observations of 44GHz class I methanol masers

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    We detail interferometric observations of 44 GHz class I methanol masers detected by MALT-45 (a 7 mm unbiased auto-correlated spectral-line Galactic-plane survey) using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. We detect 238 maser spots across 77 maser sites. Using high-resolution positions, we compare the class I CH3OH masers to other star formation maser species, including CS (1–0), SiO v = 0 and the H53 α radio-recombination line. Comparison between the cross- and auto-correlated data has allowed us to also identify quasi-thermal emission in the 44 GHz class I methanol maser line. We find that the majority of class I methanol masers have small spatial and velocity ranges (<0.5 pc and <5 km s−1), and closely trace the systemic velocities of associated clouds. Using 870 μm dust continuum emission from the ATLASGAL survey, we determine clump masses associated with class I masers, and find that they are generally associated with clumps between 1000 and 3000 M⊙. For each class I methanol maser site, we use the presence of OH masers and radio recombination lines to identify relatively evolved regions of high-mass star formation; we find that maser sites without these associations have lower luminosities and preferentially appear towards dark infrared regions

    The physical parameters of clumps associated with class I methanol masers

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    We present a study of the association between class I methanol masers and cold dust clumps from the ATLASGAL survey. It was found that almost 100% of class I methanol masers are associated with objects listed in the ATLASGAL compact source catalog. We find a statistically significant difference in the flux density, luminosity, number and column density and temperature distributions of ATLASGAL sources associated with 95/44 GHz methanol masers compared with those ATLASGAL sources devoid of 95 GHz methanol masers. The masers tend to arise in clumps with higher densities, luminosities and temperatures compared with both the full sample of ATLASGAL clumps, as well as the sample of ATLASGAL sources that were cross-matched with positions previously searched for methanol masers but with no detections. Comparison between the peak position of ATLASGAL clumps and the interferometric positions of the associated class I and II methanol masers reveals that class I masers are generally located at larger physical distances from the peak submillimetre emission than class II masers. We conclude that the tight association between ATLASGAL sources and class I methanol masers may be used as a link toward understanding the conditions of the pumping of these masers and evolutionary stages at which they appear

    Accurate water maser positions from HOPS

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    We report on high spatial resolution water maser observations, using the Australia Telescope Compact Array, towards water maser sites previously identified in the H2O southern Galactic Plane Survey (HOPS). Of the 540 masers identified in the single-dish observations of Walsh et al. (2011), we detect emission in all but 31 fields. We report on 2790 spectral features (maser spots), with brightnesses ranging from 0.06 Jy to 576 Jy and with velocities ranging from −238.5 to +300.5 kms−1. These spectral features are grouped into 631 maser sites. We have compared the positions of these sites to the literature to associate the sites with astrophysical objects. We identify 433 (69 per cent) with star formation, 121 (19 per cent) with evolved stars and 77 (12 per cent) as unknown. We find that maser sites associated with evolved stars tend to have more maser spots and have smaller angular sizes than those associated with star formation. We present evidence that maser sites associated with evolved stars show an increased likelihood of having a velocity range between 15 and 35 kms−1 compared to other maser sites. Of the 31 non-detections, we conclude they were not detected due to intrinsic variability and confirm previous results showing that such variable masers tend to be weaker and have simpler spectra with fewer peaks

    MALT-45: a 7 mm survey of the southern Galaxy - I. Techniques and spectral line data

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    We present the first results from the MALT-45 (Millimetre Astronomer's Legacy Team-45 GHz) Galactic Plane survey. We have observed 5 square degrees (l = 330°–335°, b = ±0 ∘ . 5) for spectral lines in the 7 mm band (42–44 and 48–49 GHz), including CS (1–0), class I CH3OH masers in the 7(0,7)–6(1,6) A+ transition and SiO (1–0) v = 0, 1, 2, 3. MALT-45 is the first unbiased, large-scale, sensitive spectral line survey in this frequency range. In this paper, we present data from the survey as well as a few intriguing results; rigorous analyses of these science cases are reserved for future publications. Across the survey region, we detected 77 class I CH3OH masers, of which 58 are new detections, along with many sites of thermal and maser SiO emission and thermal CS. We found that 35 class I CH3OH masers were associated with the published locations of class II CH3OH, H2O and OH masers but 42 have no known masers within 60 arcsec. We compared the MALT-45 CS with NH3 (1,1) to reveal regions of CS depletion and high opacity, as well as evolved star-forming regions with a high ratio of CS to NH3. All SiO masers are new detections, and appear to be associated with evolved stars from the Spitzer Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIMPSE). Generally, within SiO regions of multiple vibrational modes, the intensity decreases as v = 1, 2, 3, but there are a few exceptions where v = 2 is stronger than v = 1
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