Water masers in W43A: early morphological changes of a future planetary nebula.
CHONG S.-N., IMAI H. and DIAMOND P.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the distribution patterns of H2 O maser features in the ''water fountain'' source (WF) W43A and show that they are closely related to the early morphological changes in a planetary nebula (PN). Using the Very Long Baseline Array, we have detected H2O maser features in W43A in 13 epochs across yr. W43A is the only WF that has been observed for over a decade. We introduce a new cavity model scenario–a halo with a bipolar evacuated volume that has a partially enhanced wall–and compare it with the ''traditional'' precessing jet model particularly in terms of explaining the bow-shaped distribution patterns of H2O maser features in the most recent epochs and their temporal evolution. Long-term observations show that the distribution patterns require more than a single jet to form. Moreover, we have identified six groups of H2O maser features at both the redshifted and blueshifted sides with point symmetry. The six groups are believed to correspond to periodic mass profiles in the envelope and have recorded the mass-loss history. Together with a geometric similarity to the mid-infrared morphology of W43A, the results suggest that H2 O masers can be used to trace the inner morphology and rapid temporal changes in evolved stars, especially where the PN shaping has just started.