Title: Masers and the Massive Star Formation Process: New Insights Through Infrared Observations
Authors: James M. De Buizer (1), James T. Radomski (1,2), Charles M. Telesco (2), Robert K. Pina (3) ((1) Gemini Observatory, (2) University of Florida, (3) Photon Research Associates)
Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, to appear in the proceedings of IAU Symposium 227: "Massive Star Birth: A Crossroads of Astrophysics", version with full-resolution images available at this http URL
Our mid-infrared and near-infrared surveys over the last five years have helped to strengthen and clarify the relationships between water, methanol, and OH masers and the star formation process. Our surveys show that maser emission seems to be more closely associated with mid-infrared emission than cm radio continuum emission from UC HII regions. We find that masers of all molecular species surveyed trace a wide variety of phenomena and show a proclivity for linear distributions. The vast majority of these linear distributions can be explained by outflows or shocks, and in general do not appear to trace circumstellar disks as was previously thought. Some water and methanol masers that are not associated with radio continuum emission appear to trace infrared-bright hot cores, the earliest observable stage of massive stellar life before the onset of a UC HII region.