Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 341, 277-298 (2003/May-1)
Testing the circumstellar disc hypothesis: a search for H2outflow signatures from massive young stellar objects with linearly distributed methanol masers.
DE BUIZER J.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
The results of a survey searching for outflows using near-infrared imaging are presented. Targets were chosen from a compiled list of massive young stellar objects associated with methanol masers in linear distributions. Presently, it is a widely held belief that these methanol masers are found in (and delineate) circumstellar accretion discs around massive stars. If this scenario is correct, one way to test the disc hypothesis is to search for outflows perpendicular to the methanol maser distributions. The main objective of the survey was to obtain wide-field near-infrared images of the sites of linearly distributed methanol masers using a narrow-band 2.12-µm filter. This filter is centred on the H2v = 1-0 S(1) line; a shock diagnostic that has been shown to successfully trace CO outflows from young stellar objects. 28 sources in total were imaged of which 18 sources display H2emission. Of these, only two sources showed emission found to be dominantly perpendicular to the methanol maser distribution. Surprisingly, the H2emission in these fields is not distributed randomly, but instead the majority of sources are found to have H2emission dominantly parallel to their distribution of methanol masers. These results seriously question the hypothesis that methanol masers exist in circumstellar discs. The possibility that linearly distributed methanol masers are instead directly associated with outflows is discussed.