41 research outputs found

    Masers in star forming regions

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    Maser emission plays an important role as a tool in star formation studies. It is widely used for deriving kinematics, as well as the physical conditions of different structures, hidden in the dense environment very close to the young stars, for example associated with the onset of jets and outflows. We will summarize the recent observational and theoretical progress on this topic since the last maser symposium: the IAU Symposium 242 in Alice Springs.Comment: Submitted to Proceedings of IAU Symposium No. 287, Cosmic masers - from OH to H

    6.7 GHz variability characteristics of new periodic methanol maser sources

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    Discovery of periodic maser emission was an unexpected result from monitoring observations of methanol transitions in high-mass young stellar objects. We report on the detection of five new periodic sources from a monitoring program with the Torun 32 m telescope. Variability with a period of 149 to 540 d and different patterns from sinusoidal-like to intermittent was displayed. Three-dimensional structure of G59.633−0.192 determined from the time delays of burst peaks of the spectral features and high angular resolution map implies that the emission traces a disc. For this source the 6.7 GHz light curve followed the infrared variability supporting a radiative scheme of pumping. An unusual time delay of ∼80 d occurred in G30.400−0.296 could not be explained by the light travel time and may suggest a strong differentiation of physical conditions and excitation in this deeply embedded source. Our observations suggest the intermittent variability may present a simple response of maser medium to the underlying variability induced by the accretion luminosity while other variability patterns may reflect more complex changes in the physical conditions

    Long-term multi-frequency maser observations of the intermediate-mass young stellar object G107.298+5.639

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    Context: Periodic flares of maser emission are thought to be induced either by variations of the seed photon flux in young binary systems or the pump rate regulated by stellar and accretion luminosities. Aims: We seek to study the variability of four maser transitions of three different species in G107.298+5.639 to constrain the dominant mechanism of periodic flares. Methods: Light curves of the 6.7 GHz methanol and 22.2 GHz water vapour maser were obtained with the Torun 32 m radio telescope over 39 and 34 cycles, respectively. The target was also monitored at the 1.6 GHz hydroxyl transitions with the Nançay radio telescope over 13 cycles. All these maser lines were imaged using VLBI arrays. Results: The study confirms alternating flares of the methanol and water masers with a period of 34.4 d and reveals the synchronised behaviour of the methanol and hydroxyl masers in this source. The observed spatial distribution of the methanol maser cloudlets and the measured time delays of the flares of individual features imply a ring-like structure of radius 240 au and thickness 30 au. Internal proper motions indicate that the velocity of methanol cloudlets is dominated by a disc-wind component of about 5 km s −1 . The methanol emission detected during only one VLBI observation is located in a region about 550 au from a central star, which also exhibits OH maser flares. The erratic appearance of methanol features can be related to a powering object of relatively low luminosity which, during some variability cycles, can excite molecules only in the nearest part of the disc. A careful analysis of the maser and infrared light curves reveal a strong correlation between the 6.7 GHz line and the infrared flux densities supporting a radiative pumping of the maser. Conclusions: The synchronised behaviour of the hydroxyl 1665/1667 MHz and 6.7 GHz methanol transitions indicates a common pumping mechanism for the periodic flares of G107.298+5.639

    Giant burst of methanol maser in S255IR-NIRS3

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    Context.High-mass young stellar objects (HMYSOs) can undergo accretion episodes that strongly affect the star evolution, the dynamics of the disk, and its chemical evolution. Recently reported extraordinary bursts in the methanol maser emission may be the observational signature of accretion events in deeply embedded HMYSOs. Aims.We analyze the light curve of 6.7GHz methanol masers in S255IR-NIRS3 during the 2015-2016 burst. Methods.8.5-yr monitoring data with an average sampling interval of 5 days were obtained with the Torun 32 m radio telescope. Archival data were added, extending the time series to ~27 yr. Results.The maser emission showed moderate (25-30%) variability on timescales of months to years over ~23 yr since its discovery.The main burst was preceded by a 1 yr increase of the total flux density by a factor of 2.5, then it grew by a factor of 10 over ~0.4 yr and declined by a factor of 8 during the consecutive 2.4 yr. The peak maser luminosity was a factor of 24.5 higher than the pre-burst quiescent value. The light curves of individual features showed considerable diversity but indicated a general trend of suppression of the maser emission at blueshifted (5.8km/s. This new emission provided a contribution of about 80% to the maser luminosity around the peak of the burst. The duration of the burst at the extreme redshifted velocities of 7.1–-8.7km/s was from 0.9 to 1.9 yr, and its lower limit for the other features was ~3.9 yr. Conclusions.The onset of the maser burst exactly coincides with that of the infrared burst estimated from the motion of the light echo. This strongly supports the radiative pumping scheme of the maser transition. The growth of the maser luminosity is the result of an increasing volume of gas where the maser inversion is achieved

    A search for the OH 6035 MHz line in high-mass star-forming regions

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    Context. The excited states of OH masers detected in the environment of high-mass young stellar objects (HMYSOs) are important for improving our understanding of the physical conditions of these objects and also provide information about their magnetic fields. Aims. We aim to search for excited-state OH 6035 MHz maser emission in HMYSOs which might have escaped detection in previous surveys or were never searched for. Methods. A sample of HMYSOs derived from untargeted surveys of the 6668 MHz methanol maser line was observed at 6035 MHz OH transition with the Torun 32 m radio telescope. The 6035 MHz detections were observed in the OH 6031 MHz line. Two-thirds of the detections were observed at least three times over a two-year period. Results. Out of 445 targets, 37 were detected at 6035 MHz, including seven new discoveries. The 6031 MHz line was detected towards ten 6035 MHz sources, one of which was not previously reported. All the newly detected sources are faint with the peak flux density lower than 4 Jy and show significant or high variability on timescales of 4 to 20 months. Zeeman pair candidates identified in three new sources imply a magnetic field intensity of 2-11 mG. Comparison of our spectra with those obtained ~10 yr ago indicates different degrees of variability but there is a general increase in the variability index on an ~25 yr timescale, usually accompanied by significant changes in the profile shape

    Monitoring observations of 6.7 GHz methanol masers

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    We report results of 6.7 GHz methanol maser monitoring of 139 star-forming sites with theTorun 32 m radio telescope from June 2009 to February 2013. The targets were observedat least once a month, with higher cadences of 2-4 measurements per week for circumpolarobjects. Nearly 80 per cent of the sources display variability greater than 10 per cent on atime-scale between a week and a few years but about three quarters of the sample have only1-3 spectral features which vary significantly. Irregular intensity fluctuation is the dominanttype of variability and only nine objects show evidence for cyclic variations with periodsof 120 to 416 d. Synchronised and anti-correlated variations of maser features are detectedin four sources with a disc-like morphology. Rapid and high amplitude bursts of individualfeatures are seen on 3-5 occasions in five sources. Long (>50 d to 20 months) lasting burstsare observed mostly for individual or groups of features in 19 sources and only one sourceexperienced a remarkable global flare. A few flaring features display a strong anti-correlationbetween intensity and line-width that is expected for unsaturated amplification. There is aweak anti-correlation between the maser feature luminosity and variability measure, i.e. maserfeatures with low luminosity tend to be more variable than those with high luminosity. Theanalysis of the spectral energy distribution and continuum radio emission reveals that thevariability of the maser features increases when the bolometric luminosity and Lyman fluxof the exciting object decreases. Our results support the concept of a major role for infraredpumping photons in triggering outburst activity of maser emission

    New evidence for Dicke's superradiance in the 6.7 GHz methanol spectral line in the interstellar medium

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    We present new evidence for superradiance (SR) in the methanol 6.7 GHz spectral line for three different star-forming regions: S255IR-NIRS3, G24.329+0.144, and Cepheus A. Our analysis shows that some of the flux–density flares exhibiting fast rise times and asymmetric light curves reported in these sources can naturally be explained within the context of SR. When a threshold for the inverted population column density is exceeded in a maser-hosting region, the radiation mode switches from one regulated by stimulated emission (maser) to SR. Superradiance, as a more efficient energy release mechanism, manifests itself through strong bursts of radiation emanating from spatially compact regions. Elevated inverted population densities and the initiation of SR can be due to a change in radiative pumping. Here, we show that an increase in the pump rate and the inverted population density of only a factor of a few results in a significant increase in radiation. While the changes in the pump rate can take place over a few hundred days, the rise in radiation flux density when SR is initiated is drastic and happens over a much shorter time-scale

    EVN observations of 6.7 GHz methanol maser polarization in massive star-forming regions. IV. Magnetic field strength limits and structure for seven additional sources

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    Magnetohydrodynamical simulations show that the magnetic field can drive molecular outflows during the formation of massive protostars. The best probe to observationally measure both the morphology and the strength of this magnetic field at scales of 10-100 au is maser polarization. We measure the direction of magnetic fields at milliarcsecond resolution around a sample of massive star-forming regions to determine whether there is a relation between the orientation of the magnetic field and of the outflows. In addition, by estimating the magnetic field strength via the Zeeman splitting measurements, the role of magnetic field in the dynamics of the massive star-forming region is investigated. We selected a flux-limited sample of 31 massive star-forming regions to perform a statistical analysis of the magnetic field properties with respect to the molecular outflows characteristics. We report the linearly and circularly polarized emission of 6.7 GHz CH3OH masers towards seven massive star-forming regions of the total sample with the European VLBI Network. The sources are: G23.44-0.18, G25.83-0.18, G25.71-0.04, G28.31-0.39, G28.83-0.25, G29.96-0.02, and G43.80-0.13. We identified a total of 219 CH3OH maser features, 47 and 2 of which showed linearly and circularly polarized emission, respectively. We measured well-ordered linear polarization vectors around all the massive young stellar objects and Zeeman splitting towards G25.71-0.04 and G28.83-0.25. Thanks to recent theoretical results, we were able to provide lower limits to the magnetic field strength from our Zeeman splitting measurements. We further confirm (based on ∼80% of the total flux-limited sample) that the magnetic field on scales of 10-100 au is preferentially oriented along the outflow axes. The estimated magnetic field strength of |B||| > 61 mG and >21 mG towards G25.71-0.04 and G28.83-0.25, respectively, indicates that it dominates the dynamics of the gas in both regions