Astrophys. J., 782, 83 (2014/February-3)
New maser emission from nonmetastable ammonia in NGC 7538. IV. Coincident masers in adjacent states of para-ammonia.
HOFFMAN I.M. and JOYCE S.A.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the first detection of para-ammonia masers in NGC 7538: multiple epochs of observation of the 14NH3(J, K) = (10, 8) and (9,8) lines. We detect both thermal absorption and nonthermal emission in the (10,8) and (9,8) transitions and the absence of a maser in the (11,8) transition. The (9,8) maser is observed to increase in intensity by 40% over six months. Using interferometric observations with a synthesized beam of 0.''25, we find that the (10,8) and (9,8) masers originate at the same sky position near IRS 1. With strong evidence that the (10,8) and (9,8) masers arise in the same volume, we discuss the application of pumping models for the simultaneous excitation of nonmetastable (J > K) para-ammonia states having the same value of K and consecutive values of J. We also present detections of thermal absorption in rotational states ranging in energy from E/kB∼ 200 K to 2000 K, and several non-detections in higher-energy states. In particular, we describe the populations in eight adjacent rotational states with K = 6, including two maser transitions, along with the implications for ortho-ammonia pumping models. An existing torus model for molecular gas in the environment of IRS 1 has been applied to the masers; a variety of maser species are shown to agree with the model. Historical and new interferometric observations of 15NH3(3,3) masers in the region indicate a precession of the rotating torus at a rate comparable to continuum-emission-based models of the region. We discuss the general necessity of interferometric observations for diagnosing the excitation state of the masers and for determining the geometry of the molecular environment.
H II regions - ISM: individual: NGC 7538 - ISM: molecules - masers - radio continuum: ISM
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