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Astron. Astrophys. 327, 755-757

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Research Note

Search for H2O maser emission from high-latitude IRAS sources

F. Palla1, C. Codella2, and R. Valdettaro1, and C. Baffa1

1Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, I-50125 Firenze, Italy (e-mail: palla@arcetri.astro.it)
2Max Planck Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn, Germany

Received 2 January 1997 / Accepted 4 June 1997


A high-sensitivity search for water maser emission at 22.2 GHz has been performed on a sample of 91 IRAS point sources at high-latitudes1. The aim of the survey is to verify if these clouds are capable of star formation as indicated by the presence of water masers. The sample is based on the recent work of Magnani et al. (1995) who have identified 192 infrared objects from the IRAS Faint Source Survey possibly associated with translucent clouds at galactic latitudes FORMULA. These IRAS sources have far-infrared colours typical of young stellar objects and pre-main-sequence stars and thus provide a starting list for further studies about their actual nature. H2O maser emission is a good diagnostic of the presence of dense gas and of recent star formation. We did not find water maser emission at a level of 0.2-0.5 Jy (3FORMULA) in any of the 91 objects. The negative result indicates that these high-latitude sources do not represent potential sites of star formation, consistent with the fact that most high-latitude molecular clouds do not appear gravitationally bound.

Key words: masers - stars: formation - ISM: clouds - galaxies: starburst

1Tables 1 and 2 are available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

Send offprint requests to: F. Palla

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: October 14, 1997
Last change: April 6, 1998