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13CH3OH masers associated with a transient phenomenon in a high-mass young stellar object


Chen, X and Sobolev, AM and Breen, SL and Shen, ZQ and Ellingsen, SP and MacLeod, GC and Li, B and Voronkov, MA and Kaczmarek, JF and Zhang, J and Ren, Z-Y and Wang, J and Linz, H and Hunter, TR and Brogan, C and Sugiyama, K and Burns, RA and Menten, K and Sanna, A and Stecklum, B and Hirota, T and Kim, KT and Chibueze, J and Heever, SVD, 13CH3OH masers associated with a transient phenomenon in a high-mass young stellar object, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 890, (2) Article L22. ISSN 2041-8205 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The American Astronomical Society

DOI: doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ab72a5


We report the first detection of isotopic methanol (13CH3OH) maser emission in interstellar space. The emission was detected toward the high-mass young stellar object G358.93-0.03 during monitoring of a flare in the 6.7 GHz methanol (CH3OH) maser emission in this source. We find that the spectral and spatial distribution of the 13CH3OH masers differs from the CH3OH masers imaged at the same epoch, contrary to expectations from similarity of their pumping. This conclusively demonstrates that isotopic methanol masers are bright under different physical conditions and suggests that they can provide additional, complementary information to the CH3OH masers from the same source. We detect a rapid decay of the 13CH3OH maser lines suggesting that they are transient phenomena (masing for only a few months), likely associated with rapid changes in radiation field due to an accretion burst induced by massive disk fragmentation. Changes in the line flux density are faster than required to achieve equilibrium in the energy level populations, indicating that the pumping of these masers is likely variable.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:interstellar masers, interstellar molecules, stellar accretion disks, star formation, astrophysical masers
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:140098
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP180101061)
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2020-07-27
Last Modified:2020-08-03

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