A 6.7 GHz methanol maser survey of the central molecular zone

Matthew Rickert*, Farhad Yusef-Zadeh, J. Ott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The central molecular zone (CMZ) spans the inner ∼450 pc (∼3 ) of our Galaxy. This region is defined by its enhanced molecular emission and contains 5 per cent of the entire Galaxy’s molecular gas mass. However, the number of detected star-forming sites towards the CMZ may be low for the amount of molecular gas that is present, and improved surveys of star formation indicators can help clarify this. With the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), we conducted a blind survey of 6.7 GHz methanol (CH 3 OH) masers spanning the inner 3 × 40 arcmin (450 pc × 100 pc) of the Galaxy. We detected 43 CH 3 OH masers towards 28 locations, ∼16 of which are new detections. The velocities of most of these masers are consistent with being located within the CMZ. A majority of the detected CH 3 OH masers are distributed towards positive Galactic longitudes, similar to two-thirds of the molecular gas mass distributed at positive Galactic longitudes. The 6.7 GHz CH 3 OH maser is an exclusive indicator of high-mass (> 8 M ) star formation, with new detections indicating sites of massive star formation in the CMZ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5349-5361
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume482
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Fingerprint

masers
methanol
methyl alcohol
molecular gases
methylidyne
star formation
gas
galaxies
M stars
Very Large Array (VLA)
massive stars
stars
detection
indicator

Keywords

  • Catalogues
  • Galaxies: star formation
  • Galaxy: centre
  • Galaxy: nucleus
  • Surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

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abstract = "The central molecular zone (CMZ) spans the inner ∼450 pc (∼3 ◦ ) of our Galaxy. This region is defined by its enhanced molecular emission and contains 5 per cent of the entire Galaxy’s molecular gas mass. However, the number of detected star-forming sites towards the CMZ may be low for the amount of molecular gas that is present, and improved surveys of star formation indicators can help clarify this. With the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), we conducted a blind survey of 6.7 GHz methanol (CH 3 OH) masers spanning the inner 3 ◦ × 40 arcmin (450 pc × 100 pc) of the Galaxy. We detected 43 CH 3 OH masers towards 28 locations, ∼16 of which are new detections. The velocities of most of these masers are consistent with being located within the CMZ. A majority of the detected CH 3 OH masers are distributed towards positive Galactic longitudes, similar to two-thirds of the molecular gas mass distributed at positive Galactic longitudes. The 6.7 GHz CH 3 OH maser is an exclusive indicator of high-mass (> 8 M ) star formation, with new detections indicating sites of massive star formation in the CMZ.",
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A 6.7 GHz methanol maser survey of the central molecular zone. / Rickert, Matthew; Yusef-Zadeh, Farhad; Ott, J.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 482, No. 4, 01.02.2019, p. 5349-5361.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Ott, J.

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AB - The central molecular zone (CMZ) spans the inner ∼450 pc (∼3 ◦ ) of our Galaxy. This region is defined by its enhanced molecular emission and contains 5 per cent of the entire Galaxy’s molecular gas mass. However, the number of detected star-forming sites towards the CMZ may be low for the amount of molecular gas that is present, and improved surveys of star formation indicators can help clarify this. With the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), we conducted a blind survey of 6.7 GHz methanol (CH 3 OH) masers spanning the inner 3 ◦ × 40 arcmin (450 pc × 100 pc) of the Galaxy. We detected 43 CH 3 OH masers towards 28 locations, ∼16 of which are new detections. The velocities of most of these masers are consistent with being located within the CMZ. A majority of the detected CH 3 OH masers are distributed towards positive Galactic longitudes, similar to two-thirds of the molecular gas mass distributed at positive Galactic longitudes. The 6.7 GHz CH 3 OH maser is an exclusive indicator of high-mass (> 8 M ) star formation, with new detections indicating sites of massive star formation in the CMZ.

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