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J.W. Hewitt, F. Yusef-Zadeh (Northwestern Univ.), S. Stolovy (Spitzer Science Center (SSC)), R.G. Arendt (SSAI/GSFC), A. Cotera (SETI), D. Gezari (GSFC), J. Karr (SSC), C. Law (Northwestern Univ.), H. Moseley (GSFC), S. Ramirez (IPAC), K. Sellgren (OSU), H.A. Smith, R. Smith (CfA)
It is now recognized that the 6.6 GHz transition of class II methanol masers is an excellent probe of massive star formation. This class of masers is generally associated with HII regions, infrared sources, OH and H2O masers. It is also recognized that the center of our Galaxy harbors some of most massive star forming regions in the Galaxy, as evidenced by Sgr B2. Here we correlate the distribution of methanol masers with infrared data surveyed by the Spitzer IRAC observations of the central 200 pc of the Galaxy. The IRAC data reveal that some of these maser sources are located near dark clouds in highly obscured regions. One of the sources that will be discussed is the methanol maser lying at the edge of the 20 km s-1 GMC (M -0.13-0.08). The infrared, sub-millimeter and radio characteristics of this maser (G359.90-0.07) imply the detection of one of the earliest phases of massive star forming activity lying close to the Galactic center.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.