CfA OIR Division Lunch Talks
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 11:00 am, Pratt Conference Room

The Host Active Galactic Nuclei
of Extragalactic Water Masers

Ingyin Zaw (NYU)

Water maser emission at 22 GHz provides a unique resolvable tracer of warm, dense molecular gas in the inner parsec of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). These maser systems have been used to probe a broad array of the properties of the hosts, including the mass of the central supermassive black hole (SMBH), the structure of the accretion disk, nuclear outflows, and the geometric distance to the host galaxy. Unfortunately, extragalactic water maser emission is extremely rare and is found only in a few percent of Seyfert 2s and LINERs, making their discovery an arduous task. Recent studies have found that maser emission is correlated with SMBH mass and activity, allowing both a better understanding of the physical link between water masers and their hosts and a way to improve detection efficiency. This talk will discuss how water masers can shed light on their AGN environments and vice versa.