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Discovery of four water masers in the small magellanic cloud


Breen, SL and Lovell, JEJ and Ellingsen, SP and Horiuchi, S and Beasley, AJ and Marvel, K, Discovery of four water masers in the small magellanic cloud, Royal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices, 432, (2) pp. 1382-1395. ISSN 0035-8711 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1093/mnras/stt558


We report the detection of four water masers within the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC): two discovered with the 70-m Tidbinbilla radio telescope, and two discovered with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). Precise positions of all four masers have been derived from ATCA observations, and the characteristics of each water maser have been monitored over a period of several years. Sensitive observations towards two previously detected water masers reported in the literature failed to detect any emission. The detected water masers show evidence of higher levels of temporal variability than equivalent Galactic sources, and one of the features associated with NGC 346 IR1 shows an acceleration of 9.6 km s−1 yr−1 over a 31 d period. Sensitive targeted observations for methanol and OH masers failed to detect any accompanying emission – in the case of methanol perhaps highlighting an under abundance in the SMC, consistent with expectations due to lower metallicity. The water masers are both bright and compact making them excellent targets for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations, which can potentially measure the proper motion of the SMC (∼1–2 mas yr−1) with temporal baselines of ∼12 months. Such observations would utilize sources associated with only the current epoch of star formation and hence have several advantages over alternative methods.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:masers - stars: formation - ISM: molecules - Magellanic Clouds
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Cosmology and extragalactic astronomy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Lovell, JEJ (Dr Jim Lovell)
UTAS Author:Ellingsen, SP (Professor Simon Ellingsen)
ID Code:85132
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2013-06-14
Last Modified:2018-03-28

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