THE STUDY OF SCATTERING IN THE ISM WITH HIGH RESOLUTION OBSERVATIONS OF OH MASERS
The research of OH maser emission sources with high angular resolution is complicated by the effects of interstellar scattering: more over, most of the OH maser sources are located in the galactic plane where the scattering is largest. However, the data available from pulsar studies on the spatial distribution of the amount of scattering indicate that there is a strong non-uniformity in the distribution of the amount of scattering material. There are directions in the galactic plane where the scattering is an order of magnitude higher than the average, as well as directions where the scattering is much lower. The latter provide an opportunity to investigate OH masers with the full angular resolution offered by very long baseline interferometry instruments, like the VLBA, and measure their true angular size, shape and brightness temperature. We have observed approximately 100 OH maser sources, distributed all over the northern hemisphere, with the VLBA in order to study the scattering properties of the interstellar medium.
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