A 6.7 GHz methanol maser survey of the central molecular zone

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


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 (CH3OH) masers spanning the inner 3 × 40 arcmin (450 pc × 100 pc) of the Galaxy. We detected 43 CH3OH 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 CH3OH 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 CH3OH 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
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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