Search for radio jets from massive young stellar objects. Association of radio jets with H2O and CH3OH masers
Context. Recent theoretical and observational studies debate the similarities of the formation process of high- (>8 M⊙) and low-mass stars. The formation of low-mass stars is directly associated with the presence of disks and jets. Theoretical models predict that stars with masses up to 140 M⊙ can be formed through disk-mediated accretion in disk-jet systems. According to this scenario, radio jets are expected to be common in high-mass star-forming regions.
Aims: We aim to increase the number of known radio jets in high-mass star-forming regions by searching for radio-jet candidates at radio continuum wavelengths.
Methods: We used the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to observe 18 high-mass star-forming regions in the C band (6 cm, ≈1''.0 resolution) and K band (1.3 cm, ≈0''.3 resolution). We searched for radio-jet candidates by studying the association of radio continuum sources with shock activity signs (e.g., molecular outflows, extended green objects, and maser emission). Our VLA observations also targeted the 22 GHz H2O and 6.7 GHz CH3OH maser lines.
Results: We have identified 146 radio continuum sources, 40 of which are located within the field of view of both images (C and K band maps). We derived the spectral index, which is consistent with thermal emission (between - 0.1 and + 2.0) for 73% of these sources. Based on the association with shock-activity signs, we identified 28 radio-jet candidates. Out of these, we identified 7 as the most probable radio jets. The radio luminosity of the radio-jet candidates is correlated with the bolometric luminosity and the outflow momentum rate. About 7-36% of the radio-jet candidates are associated with nonthermal emission. The radio-jet candidates associated with 6.7 GHz CH3OH maser emission are preferentially thermal winds and jets, while a considerable fraction of radio-jet candidates associated with H2O masers show nonthermal emission that is likely due to strong shocks.
Conclusions: About 60% of the radio continuum sources detected within the field of view of our VLA images are potential radio jets. The remaining sources could be compact H II regions in their early stages of development, or radio jets for which we currently lack further evidence of shock activity. Our sample of 18 regions is divided into 8 less evolved infrared-dark regions and 10 more evolved infrared-bright regions. We found that ≈71% of the identified radio-jet candidates are located in the more evolved regions. Similarly, 25% of the less evolved regions harbor one of the most probable radio jets, while up to 50% of the more evolved regions contain one of these radio-jet candidates. This suggests that the detection of radio jets in high-mass star-forming regions is more likely in slightly more evolved regions.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- January 2021
- stars: formation;
- stars: massive;
- ISM: jets and outflows;
- radio continuum: ISM;
- HII regions;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 40 pages, 165 figures, Accepted by A&