New H2O masers in Seyfert and FIR bright galaxies
IV. Interferometric follow-ups⋆
INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari,
Loc. Poggio dei Pini, Strada 54,
Capoterra ( CA),
2 Max-Planck-Insitut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
3 Argelander-Institut für Astronomie der Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Accepted: 23 August 2010
Context. Very luminous extragalactic water masers, the megamasers, are associated with active galactic nuclei (AGN) in galaxies characterized by accretion disks, radio jets, and nuclear outflows. Weaker masers, the kilomasers, seem to be related mostly to star formation activity, although the possibility exists that some of these sources may belong to the weak tail of the AGN maser distribution.
Aims. It is particularly important to accurately locate the water maser emission to reveal its origin and shed light on extragalactic star-forming activity or to elucidate the highly obscured central regions of galaxies.
Methods. We performed interferometric observations of three galaxies, NGC 3556, Arp 299, and NGC 4151, where water emission was found. Statistical tools were used to study the relation between OH and H2O maser emission in galaxies.
Results. The maser in NGC 3556 is associated with a compact radio continuum source that is most likely a supernova remnant or radio supernova. In Arp 299, the luminous water maser has been decomposed in three main emitting regions associated with the nuclear regions of the two main galaxies of the system, NGC 3690 and IC 694, and the region of overlap. In NGC 4151, only one of the two previously observed maser components has been tentatively detected. This feature, if real, is associated with the galaxy’s central region. The only galaxy, so far, where luminous maser emission from two maser species, OH and H2O, has been confidently detected is Arp 299. Weaker masers from these two species instead coexist in a number of objects. A search for emission from both maser species in a larger number of galaxies is, however, needed to assess these last two results better.
Key words: masers / galaxies: active / galaxies: nuclei / galaxies: starburst / radio lines: galaxies
Table 5 is only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2010