The HO Southern Galactic Plane Survey (HOPS) - I. Techniques and HO maser data
We present first results of the HO Southern Galactic Plane Survey (HOPS), using the Mopra Radio Telescope with a broad-band backend and a beam size of about 2 arcmin. We have observed 100 deg of the southern Galactic plane at 12mm (19.5-27.5GHz), including spectral line emission from HO masers, multiple metastable transitions of ammonia, cyanoacetylene, methanol and radio recombination lines. In this paper, we report on the characteristics of the survey and HO maser emission. We find 540 HO masers, of which 334 are new detections. The strongest maser is 3933Jy and the weakest is 0.7Jy, with 62 masers over 100Jy. In 14 maser sites, the spread in the velocity of the HO maser emission exceeds 100kms. In one region, the HO maser velocities are separated by 351.3kms. The rms noise levels are typically between 1 and 2Jy, with 95 per cent of the survey under 2Jy. We estimate completeness limits of 98 per cent at around 8.4Jy and 50 per cent at around 5.5Jy. We estimate that there are between 800 and 1500 HO masers in the Galaxy that are detectable in a survey with similar completeness limits to HOPS. We report possible masers in NH (11,9) and (8,6) emission towards G19.61-0.23 and in the NH (3,3) line towards G23.33-0.30.