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Observationally locating the position of the H2O snowline in protoplanetary disks is crucial for understanding planetesimal and planet formation processes, and the origin of water on the Earth. In our studies, we conducted calculations of chemical reactions and water line profiles in protoplanetary disks, and identified that ortho/para-H216O, H218O lines with small Einstein A coefficients and relatively high upper state energies are dominated by emission from the hot midplane region inside the H2O snowline. Therefore, through analyzing their line profiles the position of the H2O snowline can be located. Moreover, because the number density of the H218O is much smaller than that of H216O, the H218O lines can trace deeper into the disk and thus they are potentially better probes of the exact position of the H2O snowline in disk midplane.
Methylamine (CH3NH2) is the simplest amine and thought to be a potential interstellar precursor to the amino acid glycine (NH2CH2COOH). It is confirmed by the experimental work and in terms of exploration in the Solar system, CH3NH2 has been detected in two comets. However, in molecular clouds, a robust detection of CH3NH2 has been reported only for Sgr B2(N) so far, while a variety of complex organic molecules have been detected by radio observations in many star-forming regions. To search for CH3NH2, we used the ALMA Cycle 2 archival data toward Orion Kleinmann-Low nebula (Orion-KL) at Band 6 and found 5 candidate emission at the hot core region. By using the rotation diagram method, we evaluated its tentative column density and rotational temperature to be 4.9×10 cm−2 and 102 K, respectively.
We present observational results of the submillimeter H2O and SiO lines toward a candidate high-mass young stellar object Orion Source I using ALMA. The spatial structures of the high excitation lines at lower-state energies of >2500 K show compact structures consistent with the circumstellar disk and/or base of the northeast-southwest bipolar outflow with a 100 au scale. The highest excitation transition, the SiO (v=4) line at band 8, has the most compact structure. In contrast, lower-excitation transitions are more extended than 200 au tracing the outflow. Almost all the line show velocity gradients perpendicular to the outflow axis suggesting rotation motions of the circumstellar disk and outflow. While some of the detected lines show broad line profiles and spatially extended emission components indicative of thermal excitation, the strong H2O lines at 321 GHz, 474 GHz, and 658 GHz with brightness temperatures of >1000 K show clear signatures of maser action.
In this proceeding paper, we introduce the recent results of Galactic maser astrometry by mainly focusing on those obtained with Japanese VLBI array VERA. So far we have obtained parallaxes for 86 sources including preliminary results, and combination with the data obtained with VLBA/BeSSeL provides astrometric results for 159 sources. With these most updated results we conduct preliminary determinations of Galactic fundamental parameters, obtaining R0 = 8.16 ± 0.26 kpc and Θ0 = 237 ± 8 km/s. We also derive the rotation curve of the Milky Way Galaxy and confirm the previous results that the rotation curve is fairly flat between 5 kpc and 16 kpc, while a remarkable deviation is seen toward the Galactic center region. In addition to the results on the Galactic structure, we also present brief overviews on other science topics related to masers conducted with VERA, and also discuss the future prospect of the project.
We will report the activities of the VERA single-dish observations. We are carrying out single-dish observations with two purposes. The first purpose is the monitoring of known H2O maser sources. At present, we are carrying out monitoring observations for 312 H2O maser sources at intervals of two months. The second purpose is the search for new water maser sources. We selected 901 target sources from the AKARI FIS Bright Source Catalogue. We found 61 new H2O maser sources.
We report on interferometric observations of a face-on accretion system around the high mass young stellar object, G353.273+0.641. The innermost accretion system of 100-au radius was resolved in a 45-GHz continuum image taken with the Jansky Very Large Array. Our SED analysis indicated that the continuum could be explained by optically-thick dust emission. 6.7 GHz CH3OH masers associated with the same system were also observed with the Australia Telescope Compact Array. The masers showed a spiral-like, non-axisymmetric distribution with a systematic velocity gradient. The line-of-sight velocity field is explained by an infall motion along a parabolic streamline that falls onto the equatorial plane of the face-on system. The streamline is quasi-radial and reaches the equatorial plane at a radius of 16 au. The physical origin of such a streamline is still an open question and will be constrained by the higher-resolution thermal continuum and line observations with ALMA long baselines.
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.
Despite their importance in the formation and evolution of stellar clusters and galaxies, the formation of high-mass stars remains poorly understood. We recently started a systematic observational study of the 22 GHz water and 44 GHz class I methanol masers in high-mass star-forming regions as a four-year KaVA large program. Our sample consists of 87 high-mass young stellar objects (HM-YSOs) in various evolutionary phases, many of which are associated with two or more different maser species. The primary scientific goals are to measure the spatial distributions and 3-dimensional velocity fields of multiple maser species, and understand the dynamical evolution of HM-YSOs and their circumstellar structures, in conjunction with follow-up observations with JVN/EAVN (6.7 GHz class II methanol masers), VERA, and ALMA. In this paper we present details of our KaVA large program, including the first-year results and observing/data analysis plans for the second year and beyond.
We have started survey observations of the 22 GHz water maser sources associated with high-mass young stellar objects (HM-YSOs) as a part of the KaVA (KVN and VERA Array) large program (LP). The aim of our LP is to understand dynamical evolution of jets/outflows from HM-YSOs by analyzing 3D velocity structures of water maser features. In the first year (2016-2017), an imaging survey toward 25 HM-YSOs has been conducted and the 22 GHz water masers are detected toward 21 sources. Spatial distributions of maser features for individual sources are mapped. To complement physical properties in the vicinity of HM-YSOs, we have carried out ALMA cycle 3 observations of thermal molecular lines and continuum emissions toward 11 selected samples. Summary of the KaVA first year observations and the initial results from the ALMA toward one of our targets, G25.82-0.17, are reported.
Observationally measuring the location of the H2O snowline is crucial for understanding the planetesimal and planet formation processes, and the origin of water on Earth. The velocity profiles of emission lines from protoplanetary disks are usually affected by Doppler shift due to Keplerian rotation and thermal broadening. Therefore, the velocity profiles are sensitive to the radial distribution of the line-emitting regions. In our work (Notsu et al. 2016, 2017), we found candidate water lines to locate the position of the H2O snowline through future high-dispersion spectroscopic observations. First, we calculated the chemical composition of the disks around a T Tauri star and a Herbig Ae star using chemical kinetics. We confirmed that the abundance of H2O gas is high not only in the hot midplane region inside the H2O snowline but also in the hot surface layer and the photodesorption region of the outer disk. The position of the H2O snowline in the Herbig Ae disk exists at a larger radius from the central star than that in the T Tauri disk. Second, we calculated the H2O line profiles and identified that H2O emission lines with small Einstein A coefficients (∼10−6 − 10−3 s−1) and relatively high upper state energies (∼ 1000K) are dominated by emission from the hot midplane region inside the H2O snowline, and therefore their profiles potentially contain information which can be used to locate the position of the H2O snowline. The wavelengths of the H2O lines which are the best candidates to locate the position of the H2O snowline range from mid-infrared to sub-millimeter, and the total line fluxes tend to increase with decreasing wavelengths. We investigated the possibility of future observations using the ALMA and mid-infrared high-dispersion spectrographs (e.g., SPICA/SMI-HRS). Since the fluxes of those identified lines from a Herbig Ae disk are stronger than those of a T Tauri disk, the possibility of a successful detection is expected to increase for a Herbig Ae disk.
Submillimeter-wave observations of complex organic molecules toward southern massive star forming regions were carried out with ASTE 10m telescope. Methyl formate (HCOOCH3) and dimethyl ether (CH3OCH3) were detected in some molecular cloud cores with young protostars. Differences in chemical composition among neighboring cores were also found.
Results of multi-epoch VLBI observations toward water/SiO masers in Orion-KL are presented. We conducted high-resolution VLBI observations of water/SiO masers with VERA to probe the structure and the kinematics of the disk/outflow in Orion-KL. The VERA observations provide the positions and proper motions of masers features in Orion-KL with the highest accuracy ever observed. The results of water and SiO maser observations suggest that Source I is a massive YSO with an accretion disk and a collimated outflow.
Since 2007 VERA (VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry) has been producing astrometric results (distances and/or proper motions) for Galactic maser sources. Nearly 30 parallaxes have been obtained for star-forming regions and late-type stars. By using VERA's astrometric results for star-forming regions, combined with those obtained with VLBA and EVN, fundamental Galactic parameters and Galactic structure may be derived. Our results show that R0 = 8.4 ± 0.4 kpc and Ω⊙ ≡ Ω0 + V⊙/R0=30.7±0.8 km s−1 kpc−1, and also show that the rotation curve of the Galaxy is nearly flat. The determinations of Galactic parameters and structures demonstrate that the maser astrometry can not only contribute significantly to research of individual maser sources, but also to studies of the structure of the Galaxy.
We report the results of multi-epoch very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) water (H2O) maser observations carried out with the VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry (VERA) toward the HW3d object within the Cepheus A star-forming region. We measured proper motions of 30 water maser features, tracing a compact bipolar outflow. This outflow is highly collimated, extending through ~400 mas (290 AU), and having a typical proper motion velocity of ~6 mas yr−1 (~21 km s−1). The dynamical timescale of the outflow was estimated to be ~100 years, showing that the outflow is tracing a very early star-formation phase. Our results provide strong support that the HW3d object harbors an internal massive protostar, as previous observations suggested. In addition, we have analyzed Very Large Array (VLA) archive 1.3 cm continuum data of the 1995 and 2006 epochs obtained towards Cepheus A. These results indicate possible different protostars around HW3d and/or strong variability in its radio continuum emission.
In 2011 February, a burst of the 22 GHz H2O maser in Orion KL was reported. In order to identify the bursting maser features, we have been carrying out observations of the 22 GHz H2O maser in Orion KL with VERA, a Japanese VLBI network dedicated for astrometry. The bursting maser turns out to consist of two spatially different features at 7.58 and 6.95 km s−1. We determine their absolute positions and find that they are coincident with the shocked molecular gas called the Orion Compact Ridge. We tentatively detect the absolute proper motions of the bursting features toward the southwest direction, perpendicular to the elongation of the maser features. It is most likely that the outflow from the radio source I or another young stellar object interacting with Compact Ridge is a possible origin of the H2O maser burst. We will also carry out observations with ALMA in the cycle 0 period to monitor the submillimeter H2O maser lines in the Orion Compact Ridge region. These follow-up observations will provide novel information on the physical and chemical properties of the mastering region.
We report on absolute proper-motion measurements of H2O maser features in the NGC 281 West molecular cloud, located ~320 pc above the Galactic plane and associated with an HI loop extending from the Galactic plane. We conducted six-epoch phase-referencing observations of the maser source with VERA (VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry) over six months since May 2006. The H2O maser features are found to be systematically moving toward the southwest and further away from the Galactic plane with a vertical velocity of ~20–30 km s−1 at its estimated distance of 2.2–3.5 kpc. Our new results provide the most direct evidence that the gas in the NGC 281 region was blown out from the Galactic plane, most likely in a superbubble driven by multiple or sequential supernova explosions in the Galactic plane.
We present results of astrometric observations of S269 H2O maser performed with VERA (VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry). We have monitored the positions of S269 H2O masers for 1 year and successfully detected its parallax to be 189±8 micro-arcsecond. This corresponds to a source distance of 5.28+0.24−0.22 kpc, and is the smallest parallax (and thus the largest distance) that has ever been measured by means of annual parallax. Proper motions of S269 H2O maser were also measured and used to determine the Galactic rotation velocity at the position of S269. Our measurements show that the Galactic rotation velocity at S269 is the same to that at the Sun within 3%, indicating that the Galactic rotation curve is flat out to R~13 kpc.
We have carried out multi-epoch VLBI observations of the H2O maser sources associated with young stellar objects (YSOs) in nearby molecular clouds with VERA (VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry), which is a newly constructed VLBI network in Japan (Kobayashi et al. 2003). The main goal of our study is to measure the absolute proper motions and distances to nearby molecular clouds within 1 kpc from the Sun, to reveal their 3-dimensional structures and dynamical properties. Using the VERA dual-beam receiving system (Honma et al. 2003), we have carried out phase-referencing VLBI observations and measured annual parallaxes and absolute proper motions of the H2O maser features with respect to the extragalactic radio sources. We have successfully detected the annual parallax of one of the H2O maser features in Orion KL to be 2.29±0.10 mas, corresponding to the distance of 437±19 pc from the Sun (Hirota et al. 2007). In addition, the annual parallax of SVS13 in NGC 1333 is also determined to be4.10±0.17 mas, corresponding to the distance of 244±10 pc from the Sun, although the life time of the maser features are only 6 months. The absolute proper motions of the H2O maser features associated with Orion KL and NGC 1333 are derived, possibly indicating the outflow motions from the YSOs as well as the systemic motions of the powering sources.
We present H2O masers associated with the massive-star forming region G192 observed with the Japan VLBI network since the year 2005, The spatio-kinematical structure of the maser feature clusters has well persisted since previous observations, in which the masers are associated with two young stellar objects (YSOs) separated by ~1200 AU and expected to be associated with a highly-collimated bipolar jet and an infalling-rotating disk in the northern and southern YSOs, respectively. We estimated a jet speed of ~100 km s−1 and re-estimated a dynamical age of the whole jet to be 5.6×104 years. The spatial distribution of maser Doppler velocities found during the previous and present observations, relative proper motions of H2O maser features in the southern cluster found in the present observations, a relative bulk motion between the two maser clusters are well explained by a model of an infalling-rotating disk with a radius of ~1000 AU and a central stellar mass of ~8 M⊙.
VLBI – Very Long Baseline Interferometry – is a radio interferometry technique which provides the highest spatial resolution observations to human kind. But at the present, the accuracy of the astrometry observations is limited by the atmospheric light path variations and instrumental phase errors, and only group delay measurements are used. To overcome these error factors, we have developed the VERA system, which has the first dual beam system. VERA is the first VLBI array to be free from the atmospheric phase fluctuations. It has four VLBI stations with 2300-km maximum baseline length in Japan. To compensate phase fluctuations of interferometer visibilities, which are mainly caused by the atmosphere, the VERA antenna observes two objects simultaneously. In order to do such observations, VERA has a two-receiver system, which tracks a focal plane according to a separation angle between observing objects. By comparing the visibility phase between two beams, simultaneous phase referencing VLBI will be achieved. The goal accuracy of astrometry observations is 10 micro-arcseconds, which makes annual parallax and proper motion measurements of galactic maser objects possible. 10 micro-arcsecond accuracy is equivalent to 10% distance accuracy for the galactic centre. This becomes 20% accuracy at the opposite side of the galaxy. The main scientific targets of VERA are to make a 3-dimensional maser object map of the galaxy and reveal the velocity field of the galaxy. This will show the mass distribution of the galaxy. Currently, construction of four stations is complete, and test observations are underway. We show the scientific goal, current results and instrumental accuracy of VERA.To search for other articles by the author(s) go to: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abstract_service.html
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