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13CH3OH masers associated with a transient phenomenon in a high-mass young stellar object

Chen, X, Sobolev, AM, Breen, SL, Shen, ZQ, Ellingsen, SP ORCID: 0000-0002-1363-5457, MacLeod, GC, Li, B, Voronkov, MA, Kaczmarek, JF, Zhang, J, Ren, Z-Y, Wang, J, Linz, H, Hunter, TR, Brogan, C, Sugiyama, K, Burns, RA, Menten, K, Sanna, A, Stecklum, B, Hirota, T, Kim, KT, Chibueze, J and Heever, SVD 2020 , '13CH3OH masers associated with a transient phenomenon in a high-mass young stellar object' , Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 890, no. 2 , pp. 1-8 , doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/ab72a5.

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We report the first detection of isotopic methanol (13CH3OH) maser emission in interstellar space. The emission was detected toward the high-mass young stellar object G358.93-0.03 during monitoring of a flare in the 6.7 GHz methanol (CH3OH) maser emission in this source. We find that the spectral and spatial distribution of the 13CH3OH masers differs from the CH3OH masers imaged at the same epoch, contrary to expectations from similarity of their pumping. This conclusively demonstrates that isotopic methanol masers are bright under different physical conditions and suggests that they can provide additional, complementary information to the CH3OH masers from the same source. We detect a rapid decay of the 13CH3OH maser lines suggesting that they are transient phenomena (masing for only a few months), likely associated with rapid changes in radiation field due to an accretion burst induced by massive disk fragmentation. Changes in the line flux density are faster than required to achieve equilibrium in the energy level populations, indicating that the pumping of these masers is likely variable.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Chen, X and Sobolev, AM and Breen, SL and Shen, ZQ and Ellingsen, SP and MacLeod, GC and Li, B and Voronkov, MA and Kaczmarek, JF and Zhang, J and Ren, Z-Y and Wang, J and Linz, H and Hunter, TR and Brogan, C and Sugiyama, K and Burns, RA and Menten, K and Sanna, A and Stecklum, B and Hirota, T and Kim, KT and Chibueze, J and Heever, SVD
Keywords: interstellar masers, interstellar molecules, stellar accretion disks, star formation, astrophysical masers
Journal or Publication Title: Astrophysical Journal Letters
Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.
ISSN: 2041-8205
DOI / ID Number: 10.3847/2041-8213/ab72a5
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Copyright 2020 The American Astronomical Society

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