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Our 2015-2016 ALMA 1.3 to 0.87 mm observations (resolution ~200 au) of the massive protocluster NGC6334I revealed that an extraordinary outburst had occurred in the dominant millimeter dust core MM1 (luminosity increase of 70×) when compared with earlier SMA data. The outburst was accompanied by the flaring of ten maser transitions of three species. We present new results from our recent JVLA observations of Class II 6.7 GHz methanol masers and 6 GHz excited OH masers in this region. Class II masers had not previously been detected toward MM1 in any interferometric observations recorded over the past 30 years that targeted the bright masers toward other members of the protocluster (MM2 and MM3=NGC6334F). Methanol masers now appear both toward and adjacent to MM1 with the strongest spots located in a dust cavity ~1 arcsec (1300 au) north of the MM1B hypercompact HII region. In addition, new excited OH masers appear on the non-thermal source CM2. These data reveal the dramatic effects of episodic accretion onto a deeply-embedded high mass protostar and demonstrate its ongoing impact on the surrounding protocluster.
We present subarcsecond resolution pre- and post-outburst JVLA continuum and water maser observations of the massive protostellar outburst source NGC6334I-MM1. The continuum data at 5 and 1.4 cm reveal that the free-free emission powered by MM1B, modeled as a hypercompact HII region from our 2011 JVLA data, has dropped by a factor of 5.4. Additionally, the water maser emission toward MM1, which had previously been strong (500 Jy) has dramatically reduced. In contrast, the water masers in other locations in the protocluster have flared, with the strongest spots associated with CM2, a non-thermal radio source that appears to mark a shock in a jet emanating 2″ (2600 au) northward from MM1. The observed quenching of the HCHII region suggests a reduction in uv photon production due to bloating of the protostar in response to the episodic accretion event.
We summarize here our recent findings from near-infrared spectroscopy and 1 mm line and continuum observations of a recently identified extended green object (EGO) in Sgr C, whose observational characteristics suggest early-stage massive star formation is taking place. Located on the outskirts of the massive evolved Hii region associated with Sgr C in the Western central molecular zone (CMZ), the EGO measures ∼10″ (0.4 pc at 8.5 kpc). We confirm that early-stage star formation is taking place on the periphery of the Sgr C Hii region. The data show clear detections of two protostellar cores and several knots of H2 and Brackett γ emission alongside a previously detected compact radio source. We calculate the cores' joint mass to be ∼103 M⊙, with column densities of 1-2 × 1024 cm−2. The host molecular clouds mass is approximately 105 M⊙. Despite these favorable conditions, the cloud is curiously devoid of any further star formation, making it comparable to other remarkably quiescent clouds, such as G0.253 in the Eastern CMZ.
Large-scale Spitzer surveys of the Galactic plane have yielded a new diagnostic for massive young stellar objects (MYSOs) that are actively accreting and driving outflows: extended emission in the IRAC 4.5 μm band, believed to trace shocked molecular gas. Maser studies of these extended 4.5 μm sources (called EGOs, Extended Green Objects, for the common coding of 3-color IRAC images) have been and remain crucial for understanding the nature of EGOs. High detection rates in VLA CH3OH maser surveys provided the first proof that EGOs were indeed MYSOs driving outflows; our recent Nobeyama 45-m survey of northern EGOs shows that the majority are associated with H2O masers. Maser studies of EGOs also provide important constraints for the longstanding goal of a maser evolutionary sequence for MYSOs, particularly in combination with high resolution (sub)mm data. New SMA results show that Class I methanol masers can be excited by both young (hot core) and evolved (ultracompact HII region) sources within the same massive star-forming region.
We have used the recently-upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) to conduct a K-band (~24 GHz) study of 22 massive young stellar objects in 1.3 cm continuum and a comprehensive set of diagnostic lines. This survey is unique in that it samples a wide range of massive star formation signposts simultaneously for the first time. In this proceeding we present preliminary results for the 11 sources in the 2-4 kpc distance bin. We detect compact NH3 cores in all of the fields, with many showing emission up through the (6,6) transition. Maser emission in the 25 GHz CH3OH ladder is present in 7 of 11 sources. We also detect non-thermal emission in the NH3 (3,3) transition in 7 of 11 sources.
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