6.7-GHz methanol maser associated outflows : an evolutionary sequence
De Villiers, Helena Maria
Voronkov, M. A.
We present a continuing study of a sample 44 molecular outflows, observed in 13CO lines, closely associated with 6.7-GHz methanol masers, hence called methanol maser associated outflows (MMAOs). We compare MMAO properties with those of outflows from other surveys in the literature. In general, MMAOs follow similar trends, but show a deficit in number at low masses and momenta, with a corresponding higher fraction at the high end of the distributions. A similar trend is seen for the dynamical time-scales of MMAOs. We argue that the lack of relatively low mass and young flows in MMAOs is due to the inherent selection-bias in the sample, i.e. its direct association with 6.7-GHz methanol masers. This implies that methanol masers must switch on after the onset of outflows (hence accretion), and not before a sufficient abundance of methanol is liberated from icy dust mantles. Consequently the average dynamical age of MMAOs is older than for the general population of molecular outflows. We propose an adjusted evolutionary sequence of outflow and maser occurrence in the hot core phase, where methanol masers turn on after the onset of the outflow phase.