A feature movie of SiO emission 20-100 AU from the massive young stellar object orion source I

L. D. Matthews, L. J. Greenhill, C. Goddi, C. J. Chandler, E. M.L. Humphreys, Matthew Walter Kunz

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105 Scopus citations


We present multi-epoch Very Long Baseline Array imaging of the 28SiO v = 1 and v = 2, J = 1-0 maser emission toward the massive young stellar object (YSO) Orion Source I. Both SiO transitions were observed simultaneously with an angular resolution of 0.5 mas (0.2 AU for d = 414 pc) and a spectral resolution of 0.2 km s-1. Here we explore the global properties and kinematics of the emission through two 19-epoch animated movies spanning 21 months (from 2001 March 19 to 2002 December 10). These movies provide the most detailed view to date of the dynamics and temporal evolution of molecular material within 20-100 AU of a massive (≳8 Mȯ) YSO. As in previous studies, we find that the bulk of the SiO masers surrounding Source I lie in an -shaped locus; the emission in the south and east arms is predominantly blueshifted, and emission in the north and west is predominantly redshifted. In addition, bridges of intermediate-velocity emission are observed connecting the red and blue sides of the emission distribution. We have measured proper motions of over 1000 individual maser features and found that these motions are characterized by a combination of radially outward migrations along the four main maser-emitting arms and motions tangent to the intermediate-velocity bridges. We interpret the SiO masers as arising from a wide-angle bipolar wind emanating from a rotating, edge-on disk. The detection of maser features along extended, curved filaments suggests that magnetic fields may play a role in launching and/or shaping the wind. Our observations appear to support a picture in which stars with masses as high as at least 8 M ȯ form via disk-mediated accretion. However, we cannot yet rule out that the Source I disk may have been formed or altered following a recent close encounter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-92
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Masers
  • Radio lines: stars
  • Stars: formation


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