EDP Sciences
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Volume 400, Number 2, March III 2003
Page(s) 457 - 463
Section Galactic structure and dynamics
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20021897

A&A 400, 457-463 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021897

Location of H $\mathsf{_2}$O maser in the double-nuclei system of NGC 6240

Y. Hagiwara1, P. J. Diamond2 and M. Miyoshi3

1  ASTRON, Westerbork Observatory, PO Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
2  Jodrell Bank Observatory, University of Manchester, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 9DL, UK
3  National Astronomical Observatory, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan, 181-8588

(Received 16 October 2002 / Accepted 23 December 2002 )

We performed VLA observations of the 22 GHz H 2O $\;$maser emission in the merging galaxy NGC 6240, which hosts the well-known double active nuclei. In a previous paper, we reported on the first solid detection of the H 2O $\;$ maser emission in 2001. After two abortive attempts due to the weakness and probable variability of the emission, the maser was detected with the VLA in June 2002. The emission is unresolved at ~0.3 arcsec and coincides with the southern 22 GHz continuum peak to ~0.007 arcsec (~3 pc: D = 97 Mpc). The detection of the maser in the southern nucleus indicates that nuclear activity of the galaxy, which is significant in X-ray and far-infrared (FIR) bands, lies mainly in the southern nucleus, and the nucleus without a high brightness peak could be explained by thick dust emitting FIR radiation. We favour the idea that the maser in NGC 6240 is associated with the AGN-activity.

Key words: masers -- galaxies: active -- galaxies: individual: NGC 6240 -- radio lines: ISM

Offprint request: Y. Hagiwara, hagiwara@astron.nl

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