Volume 637, May 2020
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||05 May 2020|
The nature of the methanol maser ring G23.657–00.127
II. Expansion of the maser structure
Institute of Astronomy, Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Informatics, Nicolaus Copernicus University,
2 INAF, Istituto di Radioastronomia & Italian ALMA Regional Centre, Via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
4 INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
5 Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE), Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, 7991 PD Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
6 Sterrewacht Leiden, Leiden University, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
Accepted: 20 March 2020
Context. Ring-like distributions of the 6.7 GHz methanol maser spots at milliarcsecond scales represent a family of molecular structures of unknown origin associated with high-mass young stellar objects.
Aims. We aim to study G23.657–00.127, which has a nearly circular ring of the 6.7 GHz methanol masers, and is the most suitable target to test hypotheses on the origin of the maser rings.
Methods. The European Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network was used at three epochs spanning 10.3 yr to derive the spatio-kinematical structure of the 6.7 GHz methanol maser emission in the target.
Results. The maser cloudlets, lying in a nearly symmetric ring, expand mainly in the radial direction with a mean velocity of 3.2 km s−1. There is an indication that the radial component of the velocity increases with cloudlet’s distance from the ring centre. The tangential component does not show any clear evidence for rotation of the cloudlets or any relationship with distance from the ring centre. The blue-shifted masers may hint at an anticlockwise rotation of cloudlets in the southern part of the ring. The nearly circular structure of the ring clearly persisted for more than 10 yr. Interferometric data demonstrated that about one quarter of cloudlets show significant variability in their brightness, although the overall spectrum was non-variable in single-dish studies.
Conclusions. Taking into account the three-dimensional motion of the maser cloudlets and their spatial distribution along a small ring, we speculate about two possible scenarios where the methanol masers trace either a spherical outflow arising from an (almost) edge-on disc, or a wide angle wind at the base of a protostellar jet. The latter is associated with near- and mid-infrared emission detected towards the ring. High angular resolution images of complementary (thermal) tracers are needed to interpret the environment of methanol masers.
Key words: masers / stars: massive / instrumentation: interferometers / stars: formation / astrometry
© ESO 2020
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