Simultaneous 183 GHz H2O Maser and SiO Observations Towards Evolved Stars Using APEX SEPIA Band 5

Abstract : We investigate the use of 183 GHz H2O masers for characterization of the physical conditions and mass loss process in the circumstellar envelopes of evolved stars. We used APEX SEPIA Band 5 to observe the 183 GHz H2O line towards 2 Red Supergiant and 3 Asymptotic Giant Branch stars. Simultaneously, we observed lines in 28SiO v0, 1, 2 and 3, and for 29SiO v0 and 1. We detected the 183 GHz H2O line towards all the stars with peak flux densities greater than 100 Jy, including a new detection from VY CMa. Towards all 5 targets, the water line had indications of being due to maser emission and had higher peak flux densities than for the SiO lines. The SiO lines appear to originate from both thermal and maser processes. Comparison with simulations and models indicate that 183 GHz maser emission is likely to extend to greater radii in the circumstellar envelopes than SiO maser emission and to similar or greater radii than water masers at 22, 321 and 325 GHz. We speculate that a prominent blue-shifted feature in the W Hya 183 GHz spectrum is amplifying the stellar continuum, and is located at a similar distance from the star as mainline OH maser emission. From a comparison of the individual polarizations, we find that the SiO maser linear polarization fraction of several features exceeds the maximum fraction allowed under standard maser assumptions and requires strong anisotropic pumping of the maser transition and strongly saturated maser emission. The low polarization fraction of the H2O maser however, fits with the expectation for a non-saturated maser. 183 GHz H2O masers can provide strong probes of the mass loss process of evolved stars. Higher angular resolution observations of this line using ALMA Band 5 will enable detailed investigation of the emission location in circumstellar envelopes and can also provide information on magnetic field strength and structure.
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Contributor : Marie-Paule Pomies <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 12:23:33 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 5, 2019 - 8:24:04 PM

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E. M. L. Humphreys, K. Immer, M. D. Gray, E. de Beck, W. H. T. Vlemmings, et al.. Simultaneous 183 GHz H2O Maser and SiO Observations Towards Evolved Stars Using APEX SEPIA Band 5. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2017, 603, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201730718⟩. ⟨hal-01509657⟩



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