University Of Tasmania

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The mid-infrared environments of 6.7 GHz methanol masers from the methanol multi-beam survey

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 18:24 authored by Gallaway, M, Thompson, MA, Lucas, PW, Fuller, GA, Caswell, JL, Green, JA, Voronkov, MA, Breen, SL, Quinn, L, Simon EllingsenSimon Ellingsen, Avison, A, Ward-thompson, D, Cox, J
We present a study of the mid-infrared environments and association with star formation tracers of 6.7 GHz methanol masers taken from the Methanol Multi-Beam (MMB) survey. Our ultimate goal is to establish the mass of the host star and its evolutionary stage for each maser site. As a first step, the GLIMPSE survey of the Galactic plane is utilized to investigate the environment of 776 methanol masers and we find that while the majority of the masers are associated with mid-infrared counterparts, a significant fraction (17 per cent) are not associated with any detectable mid-infrared emission. A number of the maser counterparts are clearly extended with respect to the GLIMPSE point spread function and we implement an adaptive non-circular aperture photometry (ANCAP) technique to determine the fluxes of the maser counterparts. The ANCAP technique doubles the number of masers with flux information at all four wavelengths compared to the number of the corresponding counterparts obtained from the GLIMPSE Point Source Catalog. The colours of the maser counterparts are found to be very similar to the smaller study carried out by Ellingsen. The MMB masers are weakly associated with extended green objects and Red MSX Survey embedded sources (YSO and H ii region classifications) with 18 and 12 per cent of masers associated with these objects, respectively. The majority of MMB masers (60 per cent) have detectable GLIMPSE infrared counterparts but have not been identified with previously recognized tracers of massive star formation; this confirms that the MMB survey has the potential to identify massive star-forming regions independent of infrared selection.


Publication title

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society








School of Natural Sciences


Oxford University Press

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 The Authors

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Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences