Masers

This research is in close collaboration with Dr. Mel Blake (PARI) who is PI on the project.

Methanol masers observed at their 6.7 GHz transition are associated with environments around newly formed massive stars.  A large scale unbiased survey for methanol masers will be sensitve to the identification of young star forming regions. Such a survey of the southern sky was done using the Parkes 64 m radio telescope (Caswell et al. 1995, MNRAS, 272, 96). A survey of the northen sky has not yet been conducted, althoughSzymczak, Hrynek, & Kus (2000, A&A Suppl, 143, 269) did a pointed search of IRAS sources for methanol masers at 6.7 GHz.

We are beginning an unbiased 6.7 GHz survey of the northern sky. The receiver is installed on PARIís 26 m West radio telescope. Currently we are in the process of characterizing the stability of the receiver. We have pointed the radio telescope at a hill for 24 hours and operated the receiver in continuum mode to test stability.  The output is shown below. 

 

HillSignal02

The  upper plot shows the receiver output versus time, and the lower plot shows outside temperature as a function of time. Note the correlation between the two.  The receiver, not isolated from the outside world, varies with temperature, and can be compensated.

Plans are to begin the survey in November 2004.

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November 2004. mwc