A Masing Molecular Cloud in the Central Parsecs of Mrk 348 [chapter]

A. B. Peck, C. Henkel, J. S. Ulvestad
1997 Springer Proceedings in Physics  
We report new observations of the H_2O megamaser in the Seyfert 2 galaxy Mrk348. The line is redshifted by about 130 km s^-1 with respect to the systemic velocity, is extremely broad, with a FWHM of 130 km s^-1, and has no detectable high velocity components within 1500 km s^-1 on either side of the observed line. The unusual line profile led us to suspect that this source, might belong to a class of megamaser galaxies in which the amplified emission is the result of an interaction between the
more » ... adio jet and an encroaching molecular cloud, rather than occurring in a circumnuclear disk. Our initial VLBA observations show that the maser emission emanates entirely from a region <0.25 pc in extent, located toward a continuum component thought to be associated with the receding jet. The very high linewidth occurring on such small spatial scales and the rapid variability indicate that the H_2O emission is likely to arise from a shocked region at the interface between the energetic jet material and the molecular gas in the cloud where the jet is boring through. The orientation of the radio jets close to the plane of the sky also results in shocks with the preferred orientation for strong masers from our vantage point. Single-dish monitoring with the Effelsberg 100m telescope showed that the line and continuum emission "flared" on very similar timescales. The close temporal correlation between this activity in the maser emission and the continuum flare further suggest that the masing region and the continuum hotspots are nearly equidistant from the central engine and may be different manifestations of the same dynamical events. (abridged abstract)
doi:10.1007/978-3-642-18902-9_30 fatcat:ul6fiemwtbdb7ojsnk4pm6ubtu