Journal Article

European VLBI Network observations of 6.7-GHz methanol masers in a candidate circumstellar disc

L. Harvey-Smith and R. Soria-Ruiz

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 391, issue 3, pages 1273-1278
Published in print December 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13945.x
European VLBI Network observations of 6.7-GHz methanol masers in a candidate circumstellar disc

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The first high-resolution (∼5 mas) very long baseline interferometry observations of 6.7-GHz methanol masers in DR21(OH)N, a candidate circumstellar disc around a very young massive star, are presented. Previous observations of these masers at 50-mas angular resolution revealed a rotating structure at the position of a candidate massive protostar, with a well-sampled position–velocity diagram suggesting Keplerian rotation. Observations presented here using the European VLBI (very long baseline interferometry) Network (EVN) have provided the first high angular resolution maps of the masers, providing a test for the disc hypothesis and the Gaussian centroiding technique. The EVN maps have confirmed the shape of the disc and its rotation curve. Weaker maser emission seen previously with multi-element radio-linked interferometer network between the two main spectral peaks is seen in the EVN total power spectrum, but is absent in the cross-power spectrum. This suggests that the spatially extended emission is resolved out by the EVN. The rotating disc is coincident with a Class I massive (proto)star and at the implied centre of an outflow traced by two bow shocks. We discuss the impact of this result on the massive stellar accretion disc hypothesis and the validity of the centroiding technique to determine the structures of unresolved masers using compact radio interferometric arrays.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; masers; stars: formation; ISM: molecules; radio lines: ISM

Journal Article.  3476 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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