Review of galactic and extragalactic searches for class I methanol masers
Chen, X and Ellingsen, SP and Gan, C and Xu, Y and Shen, Z, Review of galactic and extragalactic searches for class I methanol masers, Chinese Science Bulletin, 59, (11) pp. 1066-1077. ISSN 1001-6538 (2014) [Refereed Article]
Class I methanol masers are important tools for investigations of star formation throughout the Universe. Recently, a series of surveys for class I methanol masers at the 95 GHz transition toward samples of young stellar objects have been undertaken. These surveys have resulted in the detection of about 200 new class I methanol masers and combined with previous observations they have increased the number of known class I methanol masers in our Galaxy to ~400. From analysis of the relationship between class I methanol maser emission and associated astrophysical objects, it has been shown that the intensity of the class I methanol maser emission is closely correlated with the properties of the 1.1 mm Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey (BGPS) dust continuum sources and outflow properties. This further supports the hypothesis that class I methanol masers are collisionally pumped and excited in shocked regions. Based on these observations, it can be inferred that the BGPS catalog is likely to provide more reliable samples for targeting further class I methanol maser searches. A new survey for class I methanol masers toward a larger size sample of BGPS sources to test this is currently underway. The prospects for detecting class I methanol megamasers in extragalactic sources is discussed, and observations constituting the first sensitive search have been proposed.