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Methanol Masers as Tracers of Circumstellar Disks


Norris, RP and Byleveld, SE and Diamond, PJ and Ellingsen, SP and Ferris, RH and Gough, RG and Kesteven, MJ and McCulloch, PM and Phillips, CJ and Reynolds, JE and Tzioumis, AK and Takahashi, Y and Troup, ER and Wellington, KJ, Methanol Masers as Tracers of Circumstellar Disks, The Astrophysical Journal, 508, (1) EJ ISSN 0004-637X (1998) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1086/306373


We show that in many methanol maser sources the masers are located in lines, with a velocity gradient along them which suggests that the masers are situated in edge-on circumstellar, or protoplanetary, disks. We present VLBI observations of the methanol maser source G309.92 + 0.48, in the 12.2 GHz (2 0-3 -1 E) transition, which confirm previous observations that the masers in this source lie along a line. We show that such sources are not only linear in space but, in many cases, also have a linear velocity gradient. We then model these and other data in both the 6.7 GHz (5 1-6 0 A +) and the 12.2 GHz (2 0-3 -1 E) transition from a number of star formation regions and show that the observed spatial and velocity distribution of methanol masers, and the derived Keplerian masses, are consistent with a circumstellar disk rotating around an OB star. We consider this and other hypotheses and conclude that about half of these methanol masers are probably located in edge-on circumstellar disks around young stars. This is of particular significance for studies of circumstellar disks because of the detailed velocity information available from the masers. © 1998. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Galactic astronomy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Ellingsen, SP (Professor Simon Ellingsen)
UTAS Author:McCulloch, PM (Professor Peter McCulloch)
UTAS Author:Phillips, CJ (Dr Christopher Phillips)
ID Code:13365
Year Published:1998
Web of Science® Times Cited:114
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:1998-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-08

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