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Molecular outflows in powerful OH megamasers
Baan, Willem A.; Haschick, Aubrey D.; Henkel, Christian
AA(Arecibo Observatory, PR), AB(Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA), AC(Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 346, Nov. 15, 1989, p. 680-689. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Active Galactic Nuclei, Interstellar Masers, Molecular Flow, Water Masers, Absorption Spectra, Astronomical Spectroscopy, Hydroxyl Emission, Line Spectra, Signal To Noise Ratios, Starburst Galaxies
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High signal-to-noise ratio OH and H I data are presented for five powerful OH megamasers. The OH profiles of the main OH lines of III Zw 35, IR 12112+0305, and IC 4553 show extended blueshifted wings. Two newly detected 1720 MHz OH lines in III Zw 35 and IR 17208-0014 are found to be aligned in velocity with the strongest peak in the main lines. Strong blueshifted wings on the OH and H I lines are direct evidence for molecular outflows from the nuclear regions of active galaxies. These high-velocity regions are consistent with the starburst-driven superwinds observed in some active galaxies. It is found that the velocity extremes of the outflowing OH are consistent with an L(IR) exp 1/2 dependence. A similar dependence is also derived from the H I absorption lines. The accelerated molecular material may be as close as 10 pc from the sites of activity, which is well within the narrow line region of active galactic nuclei. Almost all strong OH megamasers exhibit a two-pronged profile in the 1667 MHz line, due to the excitation of the molecular gas in the nucleus.

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