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The spatial distribution and polarization characteristics of the SiO (v=1, J=1-0) maser emission from several late type stars have been observed. The spatial distribution, derived from VLBI observations, generally shows a number of emitting regions but no clear velocity pattern or geometry. Some of these regions have well defined polarization characteristics. The results of high spatial resolution polarization measurements of RCas are similar to the lower spatial resolution polarimetry performed on this source.
Information on the structure of the molecular flow within 1″ of IRC-2, in Orion-KL, is sparse. Measurements of the continuum at 7.8μ and 12.5μ show a disk of size and suggest that the center of the disk may be dust free (Lester et al. 1985). Aperture synthesis mapping of water maser shell features (Sylber 1986) has provided information on the scale. Smaller scales can be studied by mapping SiO maser emission. We observed the 43 GHz, v=1, J = 1 → 0, transition of SiO using a 2 station interferometer with a 74 km baseline between Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA and Five College Radio Observatory, New Salem, MA. The fringe spacing was 20 milliarcseconds (mas) and the velocity resolution was 0.25 km-s−1. Our results provide the highest resolution view to date of what is likely to be the inner of IRC-2.
Our previous observations established the small angular size and high brightness temperature of emission from the v=1, J=1-0 transition of SiO from the circumstellar envelopes of the supergiant VX Sgr and the Mira variable R Cas. We performed a second VLBI experiment on the SiO masers in several late type stars on 31 Oct.-2 Nov. 1978 to compare the physical characteristics of the SiO masers in the v=1 and v=2 states. With an energy separation of 1258 cm-1 (an equivalent temperature of 1753 K) between the two vibrational states, differences in excitation and pumping of the maser states may lead to different maser properties.
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