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Class I methanol megamasers: a potential probe of starburst activity and feedback in active galaxies

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posted on 2023-05-18, 19:01 authored by Chen, X, Simon EllingsenSimon Ellingsen, Zhang, J-S, Wang, J-Z, Shen, Z-Q, Wu, Q-W, Wu, Z-Z
Previous observations have shown that the distribution of 36.2-GHz class I methanol megamaser (MM) emission in Arp 220 is highly correlated with the diffuse X-rays. On this basis it was suggested that methanol MM may be produced either by the effects of galactic-outflow-driven shocks and/or cosmic rays. Here we report the results of a single-dish survey undertaken with the Greenbank Telescope (GBT) to improve our understanding of the pumping conditions of extragalactic class I methanol masers and their relationship to starburst and feedback processes within the host galaxies, towards a sample which includes 16 galaxies which show both extended soft X-ray emission, and either OH or H2O MM emission. Large baseline ripples in the GBT spectra limited our results to tentative detections towards 11 of the target galaxies. Analysis of these tentative detections shows that there are significant correlations between the methanol intensity and the host-galaxy infrared, radio and OH MM emission, but no correlation with the X-ray and H2O MM emission. Some sources show methanol emission significantly offset from the systemic velocity of the galaxy (by up to 1000 km s−1) and we propose that these are associated with galactic-scale outflows from active galactic nuclei (AGNs) feedback. The combined observational properties suggest that class I methanol MMs are related to significant starburst and molecular outflow activity and hence may provide a potential probe of AGN feedback and starburst processes in the host galaxies.


Publication title

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society








School of Natural Sciences


Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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9600 Garsington Rd, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox4 2Dg

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Copyright 2016 The Authors

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