Observations of massive star-forming regions with water masers: mid-infrared imaging.
DE BUIZER J.M., RADOMSKI J.T., TELESCO C.M. and PINA R.K.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present here a mid-infrared imaging survey of 26 sites of water maser emission. Observations were obtained at the Infrared Telescope Facility 3 m telescope with the University of Florida mid-infrared imager/spectrometer OSCIR, and the JPL mid-infrared camera MIRLIN. The main purpose of the survey was to explore the relationship between water masers and the massive star formation process. It is generally believed that water masers predominantly trace outflows and embedded massive stellar objects, but may also exist in circumstellar disks around young stars. We investigate each of these possibilities in light of our mid-infrared imaging. We find that mid-infrared emission seems to be more closely associated with water and OH maser emission than cm radio continuum emission from UC H II regions. We also find from the sample of sources in our survey that, like groups of methanol masers, both water and OH masers have a proclivity for grouping into linear or elongated distributions. We conclude that the vast majority of linearly distributed masers are not tracing circumstellar disks, but outflows and shocks instead.