In this contribution I will attempt to show that the study of Galactic 6.7 and 12.2 GHz methanol masers themselves, as opposed to the use of methanol masers as signposts, can yield important conclusions contributing to the understanding of high-mass star formation. Due to their exclusive association with star formation, methanol masers are the best tools to do this, and their large number allows us to probe the entire Galaxy. In particular I will focus on the determination of the luminosity function of methanol masers and on the determination of an unambiguous signature for a circumstellar masing disc seen edge-on. Finally I will try to point out some future fields of research in the study of methanol masers.
Astrophysical Masers and their Environments
- Pub Date:
- March 2007
- star formation;
- high-mass stars;
- 8 pages, invited talk at the IAU Symposium 242, "Astrophysical masers and their environment"