EDP Sciences
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Volume 466, Number 1, April IV 2007
Page(s) 247 - 253
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20066778

A&A 466, 247-253 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20066778

H $\mathsf{_2}$O maser emission from bright rimmed clouds in the southern hemisphere

R. Valdettaro1, J. M. Chapman2, J. E. J. Lovell2, 3, and F. Palla1

1  INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
    e-mail: rv@arcetri.astro.it
2  CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia
3  CSIRO Industrial Physics, PO Box 218, Lindfield NSW 2070

(Received 20 November 2006 / Accepted 29 January 2007)

Context.Water maser emission is a powerful tracer of the presence of embedded sources in dense clouds since it requires elevated temperatures (>100 K) and densities (>107 cm-3) that can be found in circumstellar disks and/or jets/outflows associated with Young Stellar Objects. Bright rimmed clouds compressed by ionization fronts from nearby massive stars are considered good examples of externally triggered star formation, possibly resulting in the formation of massive stars.
Aims.We aim to determine the water maser emission frequency and characteristics of 45 bright rimmed clouds in the southern hemisphere identified by Sugitani & Ogura (1994, ApJS, 92, 163).
Methods.We have used the Tidbinbilla 70-m radiotelescope to perform a high sensitivity survey at 22.2 GHz of the maser emission from the 616-523 rotational transition of H2O molecules.
Results.We found 7 water maser sources out of 44 (16% detection rate), 5 being new detections. With the exception of the maser associated with BRC 68, all the other maser are characterized by low integrated fluxes and luminosities.
Conclusions.Most maser sources fall below the correlation between the H2O and far-infrared luminosity found in other studies towards a variety of star forming regions. These results are similar to those found in the companion survey of BRCs in the northern hemisphere by Valdettaro et al. (2005, A&A, 443, 535). The low detection frequency and the properties of water maser emission from BRCs indicate that low-mass star formation is the most natural outcome of the external compression induced by the ionization front from nearby massive stars.

Key words: ISM: clouds -- masers -- stars: formation -- radio lines: ISM

© ESO 2007