Astrophys. J., 769, 48 (2013/May-3)
Herschel/HIFI observations of a new interstellar water maser: the 532-441 transition at 620.701 GHz.
NEUFELD D.A., WU Y., KRAUS A., MENTEN K.M., TOLLS V., MELNICK G.J. and NAGY Z.
Abstract (from CDS):
Using the Herschel Space Observatory's Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared, we have performed mapping observations of the 620.701 GHz 532-441 transition of ortho-H2 O within a ∼1.'5x1.'5 region encompassing the Kleinmann-Low nebula in Orion (Orion-KL), and pointed observations of that transition toward the Orion South condensation and the W49N region of high-mass star formation. Using the Effelsberg 100 m radio telescope, we obtained ancillary observations of the 22.23508 GHz 616-523 water maser transition; in the case of Orion-KL, the 621 GHz and 22 GHz observations were carried out within 10 days of each other. The 621 GHz water line emission shows clear evidence for strong maser amplification in all three sources, exhibiting narrow (∼1 km/s FWHM) emission features that are coincident (kinematically and/or spatially) with observed 22 GHz features. Moreover, in the case of W49N–for which observations were available at three epochs spanning a 2 yr period–the spectra exhibited variability. The observed 621 GHz/22 GHz line ratios are consistent with a maser pumping model in which the population inversions arise from the combined effects of collisional excitation and spontaneous radiative decay, and the inferred physical conditions can plausibly arise in gas heated by either dissociative or non-dissociative shocks. The collisional excitation model also predicts that the 22 GHz population inversion will be quenched at higher densities than that of the 621 GHz transition, providing a natural explanation for the observational fact that 22 GHz maser emission appears to be a necessary but insufficient condition for 621 GHz maser emission.
ISM: molecules - masers - molecular processes - submillimeter: ISM
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<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/769/48): table3.dat>
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