AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 46. Planetary Systems: Observations and Models
Poster, Tuesday, January 7, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[46.12] Sensitive Search for Water Maser Emission from the Eps Eri, Ups And, and 47 UMa Systems with the VLA

B.J. Butler, C.J. Chandler, M.J. Claussen (NRAO), L.J. Greenhill (CfA)

Following recent reports of the detection of water maser mission from a number of extra-solar planetary systems [1] we have used the Very Large Array [2] to perform a sensitive search for 22 GHz water line emission toward Epsilon Eridani, Upsilon Andromedae, and 47 Ursa Majoris. The observations were made on 2002 September 24 (Eps Eri) and 29 (Ups And), and October 8 (Ups And), 10 (Eps Eri), and 11 (47 UMa). The September observations had spectral resolution of 98 kHz (1.3 km/s) over a total width of 6.25 MHz (84 km/s). In the October observations, in order to cover a wider total velocity range, the channel width was increased by a factor of 2 to 196 kHz (2.6 km/s) over a total width of 12.5 MHz (168 km/s). Our results are uniformly negative -- no H2O emission was detected from any of the three stars, with 3-\sigma upper limits of 5.7 & 2.6, 10.2 & 2.5, and 2.9 mJy/beam/channel for Eps Eri, Ups And, and 47 UMa respectively. This is consistent with other recent observations which detected no water line emission from these systems [3]. Our sensitivity is such that we should have easily been able to detect the lines previously reported [4]. We therefore conclude either that water maser emission is time variable, or that the previous measurements were in error. Future coordinated observations between observatories and groups should be undertaken to address this issue.

[1] C. Cosmovici et al., First detection of water in extra-solar planets: A new step in astrobiology, presented at: Second European Workshop on Exo/Astrobiology, Graz, Austria, September 2002

[2] The Very Large Array is operated by National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

[3] Greenhill et al., IAU Circular 7985

[4] C. Cosmovici, personal communication.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: bbutler@nrao.edu

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