Volume 426, Number 1, October IV 2004
|Page(s)||131 - 144|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||05 October 2004|
High resolution observations of SiO masers: Comparing the spatial distribution at 43 and 86 GHz
Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, c/Alfonso XII 3, 28014 Madrid, Spain e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, Apartado 112, 28803 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
3 American Astronomical Society, 2000 Florida Avenue NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009–1231, USA
4 Jodrell Bank Observatory, University of Manchester, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9DL, UK
Accepted: 21 June 2004
We present sub-milliarcsecond observations of SiO masers in the late-type stars IRC +10011 and χ Cyg. We have used the NRAO Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) to map the 43 GHz (, 2 –0) and the 86 GHz (, 2 ) SiO masers. All the transitions have been imaged except the –1 in IRC +10011. We report the first VLBI map of the –1 28SiO maser in IRC +10011 as well as the first VLBA images of SiO masers in an S-type Mira variable, χ Cyg. In this paper we have focused on the study of the relative spatial distribution of the different observed lines. We have found that in some cases the observational results are not reproduced by the current theoretical pumping models, either radiative or collisional. In particular, for IRC +10011, the –0 and –1 28SiO lines have different spatial distributions and emitting region sizes, the –1 emission being located in an outer region of the envelope. For χ Cyg, the distributions also differ, but the sizes of the masing regions are comparable. We suggest that the line overlaps between ro-vibrational transitions of two abundant molecular species, H2O and 28SiO, is a possible explanation for the discrepancies found between the observations and the theoretical predictions. We have introduced this overlapping process in the calculations of the excitation of the SiO molecule. We conclude that the line overlaps can strongly affect the excitation of SiO and may reproduce the unexpected observational results for the two sources studied.
Key words: masers / techniques: interferometric / stars: circumstellar matter / stars: AGB and post-AGB
© ESO, 2004
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