A comparison of the velocity parameters of SiO v = 1, J = 1-0, and J = 2-1 maser emission in long period variables

Gordon McIntosh, Balthasar Indermuehle

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3 Scopus citations


We present an analysis of velocity parameters derived from multi-epoch observations of the SiO maser spectra of 47 long period variables (LPVs). The velocity parameters are important to inform and constrain theoretical models of SiO maser emission and to extract information on binary orbits. Mira and R Aquarii (R Aqr) are two known binaries included in the program. The 47 LPVs are among 121 sources of the Australia Telescope National Facility Mopra telescope's monitoring program. Observations were carried out several times a year between 2008 and 2012 and are continuing. The SiO spectra are from the v = 1, J = 1-0 (43.122 GHz; hereafter J10) and the v = 1, J = 2-1 (86.2434 GHz; hereafter J21) transitions. For 41 of the 47 LPVs we observed both transitions nearly simultaneously in 457 observations. We have determined and compared the velocity centroids (VCs) and velocity ranges (VRs) of emission suffixed as above (10 and 21) for the two transitions: VC10, VC21, VR10, and VR21. The VCs of the two transitions are, on average, within 0.13 km s-1 of each other but are sometimes separated by a few km s-1. The VC10s are, on average, slightly more positive than the VC21s. The values of the VCs in the two transitions have been compared to justify using both of these transitions to extract binary star orbital parameters. The arithmetic mean VR10 derived from 635 observations of 47 sources is 6.4 km s-1 with a standard deviation of 3.4 km s-1, while the mean VR21 derived from 485 observations of 41 sources is 4.2 km s-1 with a standard deviation of 2.8 km s-1. The number of occurrences of VR10 and VR21 versus VR have different distributions. The differences in the VRs indicate that the J21 and J10 emissions arise from dynamically different regions of the circumstellar environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number131
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013


  • masers
  • stars: late-type
  • stars: variables: general


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