The saturation states of compact and diffuse components of OH megamaser galaxies
V. A. Ambartsumian Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, 378433 Byurakan, Armenia and Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, Armenian Branch, 378433 Byurakan, Armenia
Accepted: 27 March 2003
A sample of 9 OH megamaser galaxies detected in the soft X-ray domain was compiled. Using available OH and X-ray data a striking correlation was found between the X-ray luminosity and the width of the OH line. This correlation may indicate that the X-ray heating of a molecular gas may increase the collisional excitation of the maser emission. However, this result should be considered as a tentative one because of the insufficient number of galaxies. An analysis of the saturation states of compact and diffuse components of OH emission was performed. The results of the analysis support the assumption that both the compact and diffuse OH maser emissions in the megamaser galaxies are saturated. The diffuse component might show unsaturated masing under certain conditions, such as the appropriate relation between the intensities of compact and diffuse components and a relevant number of the IR photons to pump the maser emission.
Key words: masers / galaxies: general / X-rays: galaxies
© ESO, 2003