A Search for Formaldehyde 6 cm Emission toward Young Stellar Objects. II. H2CO and H110α Observations

Abstract

We report the results of our second survey for Galactic H2CO maser emission toward young stellar objects. Using the GBT and the VLA in the A configuration we observed 58 star-forming regions and discovered the fifth H2CO 6 cm maser region in the Galaxy (G23.71-0.20). We have discussed the detection toward G23.71-0.20 in a previous paper. Here we present all the other results from our survey, including detection of H2CO absorption features toward 48 sources, detection of the H110α recombination line toward 29 sources, detection (including tentative detections) of the carbon recombination line C110α toward 14 sources, subarcsecond angular resolution images of 6 cm continuum emission toward five sources, and observations of the H2CO masers in IRAS 18566+0408 and NGC 7538. In the case of NGC 7538, we detected the two main H2CO maser components, and our observations confirm variability of the blueshifted component recently reported by Hoffman et al. The variability of both maser components in NGC 7538 could be caused by a shock wave that reached the redshifted component approximately 14 yr before reaching the blueshifted component. If that were the case, we would expect to detect an increase in the flux density rate of change of the blueshifted component sometime after the year 2009. Our data also support the use of H2CO/H110α observations as a tool to resolve the kinematic distance ambiguity of massive star-forming regions in the Galaxy

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