VLBI study of maser kinematics in high-mass star-forming regions*
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, S.P. Monserrato-Sestu km 0.7, 09042 Cagliari, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
2 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari, Loc. Poggio dei Pini, Strada 54, 09012 Capoterra (CA), Italy
3 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
4 Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 650 North A'ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
5 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
6 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Accepted: 27 April 2010
Aims. We performed a detailed study of maser and radio continuum emission toward the high-mass star-forming region G23.01–0.41. This study aims at improving our knowledge of the high-mass star-forming process by comparing the gas kinematics near a newly born young stellar object (YSO), analyzed through high spatial resolution maser data, with the large-scale environment of its native hot molecular core (HMC), identified in previous interferometric observations of thermal continuum and molecular lines.
Methods. Using the VLBA and the EVN arrays, we conducted phase-referenced observations of the three most powerful maser species in G23.01–0.41: H2O at 22.2 GHz (4 epochs), CH3OH at 6.7 GHz (3 epochs), and OH at 1.665 GHz (1 epoch). In addition, we performed high-resolution (≥01), high-sensitivity (<0.1 mJy) VLA observations of the radio continuum emission from the HMC at 1.3 and 3.6 cm.
Results. We have detected H2O, CH3OH, and OH maser emission clustered within 2000 AU from the center of a flattened HMC, oriented SE–NW, from which emerges a massive 12CO outflow, elongated NE–SW, extended up to the pc-scale. Although the three maser species show a clearly different spatial and velocity distribution and sample distinct environments around the massive YSO, the spatial symmetry and velocity field of each maser specie can be explained in terms of expansion from a common center, which possibly denotes the position of the YSO driving the maser motion. Water masers trace both a fast shock (up to 50 km s-1) closer to the YSO, powered by a wide-angle wind, and a slower (20 km s-1) bipolar jet, at the base of the large-scale outflow. Because the compact free-free emission is found offset from the putative location of the YSO along a direction consistent with that of the maser jet axis, we interpret the radio continuum in terms of a thermal jet. The velocity field of methanol masers can be explained in terms of a composition of slow (4 km s-1 in amplitude) motions of radial expansion and rotation about an axis approximately parallel to the maser jet. Finally, the distribution of line-of-sight velocities of the hydroxyl masers suggests that they can trace gas less dense ( ≤ 106 cm-3) and more distant from the YSO than that traced by the water and methanol masers, which is expanding toward the observer. A few pairs of OH masers, with different circular polarization, are well aligned in position on the sky and we interpret them as Zeeman pairs. From Zeeman splitting, the derived typical values of the magnetic field are of a few mG.
Key words: masers / techniques: high angular resolution / ISM: kinematics and dynamics / stars: individual: G23.01–0.41 / stars: formation
Tables 2–4 are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2010