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Astron. Astrophys. 360, 189-195 (2000)

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VLBA observations of SiO masers: arguments in favor of radiative pumping mechanisms

J.F. Desmurs 1,2, V. Bujarrabal 1, F. Colomer 1 and J. Alcolea 1

1 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional (IGN), Apartado 1143, 28800 Alcalá de Henares, Spain (desmurs,bujarrabal,colomer,j.alcolea@oan.es)
2 Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe, Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands

Received 12 May 1999 / Accepted 6 June 2000


We have performed VLBA observations of the SiO v=1 and v=2 J=1-0 masers in two AGB stars, TX Cam and IRC +10011. We confirm the ring-like spatial distribution, previously found in several AGB objects, as well as the tangential polarization pattern, already reported for TX Cam. Both properties, that seem to be systematic in this kind of objects, are characteristic of radiatively pumped SiO masers. On the contrary, we do not confirm the previous report on the spatial coincidence between the J=1-0 v=1 and 2 masers, a result that would have argued in favor of collisional pumping. We find that both lines sometimes arise from nearby spots, typically separated by 1-2 mas, but are rarely coincident. The discrepancy with previous results is explained by the very high spatial resolution of our observations, [FORMULA] 0.5 mas, an order of magnitude better than in the relevant previously published experiment.

Key words: masers – polarization – techniques: interferometric – stars: AGB and post-AGB – radio lines: stars

Send offprint requests to: J.F. Desmurs

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: July 27, 2000