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Paper: Studying Galactic Structure Through Regions of High-Mass Star Formation
Volume: 438, The Dynamic Interstellar Medium: A Celebration of the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey
Page: 38
Authors: Green, J. A.
Abstract: An important stage of the evolution of the interstellar medium is the early process of massive star formation traced by 6.7-GHz methanol masers. This species of maser is exclusively associated with high-mass star formation, and as such provides invaluable insight into the Galactic distribution and properties of the spiral arms. The recent completion of the southern Methanol Multibeam survey, which observed over 60% of the Galactic plane and detected ∼1000 sources, provides a huge resource for such studies: kinematic distance resolutions are provided from HI self-absorption measurements from the International Galactic Plane Survey counterparts of the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey; the velocities of methanol masers complement the velocity information given by HI terminal velocities, tracing the spiral arms in the intermediate velocities; and targeted follow-up observations of ground-state hydroxyl masers enable us to determine the strength and line-of-sight direction of the in situ magnetic fields. These all combine to improve our understanding of the structure and dynamics of our Galaxy and test if the orientations of large-scale magnetic fields in the diffuse medium can be maintained in the contraction to the high densities of high-mass star formation.
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