A major goal of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is to make accurate images with resolutions of tens of milliarcseconds, which at submillimeter (submm) wavelengths requires baselines up to ∼15 km. To develop and test this capability, a Long Baseline Campaign (LBC) was carried out from 2014 September to late November, culminating in end-to-end observations, calibrations, and imaging of selected Science Verification (SV) targets. This paper presents an overview of the campaign and its main results, including an investigation of the short-term coherence properties and systematic phase errors over the long baselines at the ALMA site, a summary of the SV targets and observations, and recommendations for science observing strategies at long baselines. Deep ALMA images of the quasar 3C 138 at 97 and 241 GHz are also compared to VLA 43 GHz results, demonstrating an agreement at a level of a few percent. As a result of the extensive program of LBC testing, the highly successful SV imaging at long baselines achieved angular resolutions as fine as 19 mas at ∼350 GHz. Observing with ALMA on baselines of up to 15 km is now possible, and opens up new parameter space for submm astronomy.
Based on sub-arcsecond Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and Submillimeter Array (SMA) 1.3 mm continuum images of the massive protocluster NGC 6334I obtained in 2015 and 2008, we find that the dust emission from MM1 has increased by a factor of 4.0±0.3 during the intervening years, and undergone a significant change in morphology. The continuum emission from the other cluster members (MM2, MM4 and the UCHII region MM3=NGC 6334F) has remained constant. Long term single-dish maser monitoring at HartRAO finds that multiple maser species toward NGC 6334I flared beginning in early 2015, a few months before our ALMA observation, and some persist in that state. New ALMA images obtained in 2016 July-August at 1.1 and 0.87 mm confirm the changes with respect to SMA 0.87 mm images from 2008, and indicate that the (sub)millimeter flaring has continued for at least a year. The excess continuum emission, centered on the hypercompact HII region MM1B, is extended and elongated (1.6 ′′ × 1.0 ′′ ≈ 2100 × 1300 au) with multiple peaks, suggestive of general heating of the surrounding subcomponents of MM1, some of which may trace clumps in a fragmented disk rather than separate protostars. In either case, these remarkable increases in maser and dust emission provide direct observational evidence of a sudden accretion event in the growth of a massive protostar yielding a sustained luminosity surge by a factor of 70 ± 20, analogous to the largest events in simulations by Meyer et al. (2017). This target provides an excellent opportunity to assess the impact of such a rare event on a protocluster over many years.
We report the first sub-arcsecond VLA imaging of 6 GHz continuum, methanol maser, and excitedstate hydroxyl maser emission toward the massive protostellar cluster NGC6334I following the recent 2015 outburst in (sub)millimeter continuum toward MM1, the strongest (sub)millimeter source in the protocluster. In addition to detections toward the previously known 6.7 GHz Class II methanol maser sites in the hot core MM2 and the UCHII region MM3 (NGC6334F), we find new maser features toward several components of MM1, along with weaker features ∼ 1 ′′ north, west, and southwest of MM1, and toward the non-thermal radio continuum source CM2. None of these areas have heretofore exhibited Class II methanol maser emission in three decades of observations. The strongest MM1 masers trace a dust cavity, while no masers are seen toward the strongest dust sources MM1A, 1B and 1D. The locations of the masers are consistent with a combination of increased radiative pumping due to elevated dust grain temperature following the outburst, the presence of infrared photon propagation cavities, and the presence of high methanol column densities as indicated by ALMA images of thermal transitions. The non-thermal radio emission source CM2 (2 ′′ north of MM1) also exhibits new maser emission from the excited 6.035 and 6.030 GHz OH lines. Using the Zeeman effect, we measure a line-of-sight magnetic field of +0.5 to +3.7 mG toward CM2. In agreement with previous studies, we also detect numerous methanol and excited OH maser spots toward the UCHII region MM3, with predominantly negative line-of-sight magnetic field strengths of −2 to −5 mG and an intriguing south-north field reversal.
We present (sub)millimeter imaging at 0. 5 resolution of the massive star-forming region G358.93−0.03 acquired in multiple epochs at 2 and 3 months following the recent flaring of its 6.7 GHz CH 3 OH maser emission. Using SMA and ALMA, we have discovered 14 new Class II CH 3 OH maser lines ranging in frequency from 199 to 361 GHz, which originate mostly from v t =1 torsionally-excited transitions and include one v t =2 transition. The latter detection provides the first observational evidence that Class II maser pumping involves levels in the v t =2 state. The masers are associated with the brightest continuum source (MM1), which hosts a line-rich hot core. The masers present a con-
As a product of the maser monitoring program with the 26 m telescope of the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO), we present an unprecedented, contemporaneous flaring event of 10 maser transitions in hydroxyl, methanol, and water that began in 2015 January in the massive star-forming region NGC 6334I in the velocity range −10 to −2 km s −1 . The 6.7 GHz methanol and 22.2 GHz water masers began flaring within 22 days of each other, while the 12.2 GHz methanol and 1665 MHz hydroxyl masers flared 80 and 113 days later respectively. The 1665 MHz, 6.7 GHz, and 22.2 GHz masers have all remained in their flared state for nearly 3 years. The brightest flaring components increased by factors of 66, 21, 26, and 20 in the 12.2 and 6.7 GHz methanol, 1665 MHz hydroxyl and 22.2 GHz water maser transitions respectively; some weaker components increased by up to a factor of 145. We also report new maser emission in the 1720, 6031, and 6035 MHz OH lines and the 23.1 GHz methanol line, along with the detection of only the fifth 4660 MHz OH maser. We note the correlation of this event with the extraordinary (sub)millimeter continuum outburst from the massive protostellar system NGC 6334I-MM1 and discuss the implications of the observed time lags between different maser velocity components on the nature of the outburst. Finally, we identify two earlier epoch maser flaring events likely associated with this object, which suggest a recurring accretive phenomenon that generates powerful radiative outbursts.
We present the results of sulfur monoxide, SO line emission observations of G0.253+0.016 with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) at an angular resolution of 1 ′′ .7. The dense and massive molecular cloud of G0.253+0.016 is highly sub-structured, yet shows no obvious signs of cluster formation. We found three outstanding features of the cloud from the SO emission, namely, shell structure of radius 1.3 pc, large velocity gradients of 20 km s −1 pc −1 with the cloud, and cores with large velocity dispersions (30-40 km s −1 ) around the shell structure. We suggest that these large-velocity dispersion cores will form high-mass stars in the future. In attempt to explore the formation scenario of the dense cloud, we compared our results with numerical simulations, thus, we propose that G0.253+0.016 may have formed due to a cloud-cloud collision process.
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