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Discovery of four water masers in the small magellanic cloud

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 18:24 authored by Breen, SL, James LovellJames Lovell, Simon Ellingsen, Horiuchi, S, Beasley, AJ, Marvel, K
We report the detection of four water masers within the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC): two discovered with the 70-m Tidbinbilla radio telescope, and two discovered with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). Precise positions of all four masers have been derived from ATCA observations, and the characteristics of each water maser have been monitored over a period of several years. Sensitive observations towards two previously detected water masers reported in the literature failed to detect any emission. The detected water masers show evidence of higher levels of temporal variability than equivalent Galactic sources, and one of the features associated with NGC 346 IR1 shows an acceleration of 9.6 km s−1 yr−1 over a 31 d period. Sensitive targeted observations for methanol and OH masers failed to detect any accompanying emission – in the case of methanol perhaps highlighting an under abundance in the SMC, consistent with expectations due to lower metallicity. The water masers are both bright and compact making them excellent targets for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations, which can potentially measure the proper motion of the SMC (∼1–2 mas yr−1) with temporal baselines of ∼12 months. Such observations would utilize sources associated with only the current epoch of star formation and hence have several advantages over alternative methods.

History

Publication title

Royal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices

Volume

432

Pagination

1382-1395

ISSN

0035-8711

Department/School

School of Natural Sciences

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 The Authors

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences

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