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A heatwave of accretion energy traced by masers in the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar
Nature Astronomy ( IF 10.500 ) Pub Date : 2020-01-13 , DOI: 10.1038/s41550-019-0989-3
R. A. Burns; K. Sugiyama; T. Hirota; Kee-Tae Kim; A. M. Sobolev; B. Stecklum; G. C. MacLeod; Y. Yonekura; M. Olech; G. Orosz; S. P. Ellingsen; L. Hyland; A. Caratti o Garatti; C. Brogan; T. R. Hunter; C. Phillips; S. P. van den Heever; J. Eislöffel; H. Linz; G. Surcis; J. O. Chibueze; W. Baan; B. Kramer

High-mass stars are thought to accumulate much of their mass via short, infrequent bursts of disk-aided accretion1,2. Such accretion events are rare and difficult to observe directly but are known to drive enhanced maser emission3,4,5,6. In this Letter we report high-resolution, multi-epoch methanol maser observations toward G358.93-0.03, which reveal an interesting phenomenon: the subluminal propagation of a thermal radiation ‘heatwave’ emanating from an accreting high-mass protostar. The extreme transformation of the maser emission implies a sudden intensification of thermal infrared radiation from within the inner (40-mas, 270-au) region. Subsequently, methanol masers trace the radial passage of thermal radiation through the environment at ≥4% of the speed of light. Such a high translocation rate contrasts with the ≤10 km s−1 physical gas motions of methanol masers typically observed using very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI). The observed scenario can readily be attributed to an accretion event in the high-mass protostar G358.93-0.03-MM1. While being the third case in its class, G358.93-0.03-MM1 exhibits unique attributes hinting at a possible ‘zoo’ of accretion burst types. These results promote the advantages of maser observations in understanding high-mass-star formation, both through single-dish maser monitoring campaigns and via their international cooperation as VLBI arrays.
更新日期:2020-01-14

 

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