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ATLASGAL - physical parameters of dust clumps associated with 6.7 GHz methanol masers


Billington, SJ and Urquhart, JS and Koenig, C and Moore, TJT and Eden, DJ and Breen, SL and Kim, W-J and Thompson, MA and Ellingsen, SP and Menten, KM and Wyrowski, F and Leurini, S, ATLASGAL - physical parameters of dust clumps associated with 6.7 GHz methanol masers, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 490, (2) pp. 2779-2798. ISSN 0035-8711 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1093/mnras/stz2691


We have constructed the largest sample of dust-associated class II 6.7 GHz methanol masers yet obtained. New measurements from the Methanol Multibeam (MMB) survey were combined with the 870 μm APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL) and the 850 μm JCMT Plane Survey (JPS). Together with two previous studies we have now identified the host clumps for 958 methanol masers across the Galactic Plane, covering approximately 99 per cent of the MMB catalogue and increasing the known sample of dust-associated masers by over 30 per cent. We investigate correlations between the physical properties of the clumps and masers using distances and luminosities drawn from the literature. Clumps hosting methanol masers are significantly more compact and have higher volume densities than the general population of clumps. We determine a minimum volume density threshold of n(H2) ≥ 104 cm−3 for the efficient formation of intermediate- and high-mass stars. We find 6.7 GHz methanol masers are associated with a distinct part of the evolutionary process (Lbol/Mfwhm ratios of between 100.6 and 102.2) and have well-defined turning on and termination points. We estimate the lower limit for the mass of embedded objects to be ≥6 M and the statistical lifetime of the methanol maser stage to be ∼3.3 104 yr. This suggests that methanol masers are indeed reliable tracers of high-mass star formation, and indicates that the evolutionary period traced by this marker is relatively rapid.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:stars: formation; stars: massive; ISM: molecules; submillimetre: ISM
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)
ID Code:136271
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2019-12-11
Last Modified:2020-05-20
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