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ATLASGAL – physical parameters of dust clumps associated with 6.7 GHz methanol masers

Billington, S. J., Urquhart, J.S., König, C., Moore, T.J.T., Eden, D.J., Breen, S.L., Kim, W.-J., Thompson, M.A., Ellingsen, S.P., Menten, K.M., and others. (2019) ATLASGAL – physical parameters of dust clumps associated with 6.7 GHz methanol masers. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 490 (2). pp. 2779-2798. ISSN 0035-8711. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stz2691) (KAR id:76734)

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We have constructed the largest sample of dust-associated class II 6.7 GHz methanol masers yet obtained. New measurements from the the Methanol MultiBeam (MMB) Survey were combined with the 870 µm APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL) and the 850 µm JCMT Plane Survey (JPS). Together with two previous studies we have now identified the host clumps for 958 methanol masers across the Galactic Plane, covering approximately 99 per cent of the MMB catalogue and increasing the known sample of dust-associated masers by over 30 per cent. We investigate correlations between the physical properties of the clumps and masers using distances and luminosities drawn from the literature. Clumps hosting methanol masers are significantly more compact and have higher volume densities than the general population of clumps. We determine a minimum volume density threshold of \(n(H^2)\) ≥ \(10^4\)\(cm^{−3}\) for the efficient formation of intermediate- and high-mass stars. We find 6.7 GHz methanol masers are associated with a distinct part of the evolutionary process \((L_{bol}/M_{fwhm}\) ratios of between \(10^{0.6}\) and \(10^{2.2}\)) and have well defined turning on and termination points. We estimate the lower limit for the mass of embedded objects to be ≥ \(6 M_\bigodot\) and the statistical lifetime of the methanol maser stage to be ∼ \(3.3×10^4\) yrs. This suggests that methanol masers are indeed reliable tracers of high mass star formation, and indicates that the evolutionary period traced by this marker is relatively rapid.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stz2691
Uncontrolled keywords: Stars: massive – Stars: formation – ISM: molecules – submillimetre: ISM
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Physical Sciences > Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences
Depositing User: James Urquhart
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 09:33 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2019 10:39 UTC
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