Cosmic Masers - a Complex Astrophysical Phenomenon

Florian Büttner, Daniel Reschetow

project report

Charles H. Townes built the first ammonia maser in 1953. Considering the complicated setup, it was very surprising when natural maser radiation from space was observed in the 1960s. This discovery was an astronomical revolution as maser sources allowed the detection of organic molecules as well as accurate measurements of movements within our galaxy. However, even today we do not have a model that can fully explain the origin of this radiation.

In the context of our "Jugend forscht"-project, we have measured maser sources using the 25m and 10m mirrors of the Stockert radio telescope. We mostly looked at natural maser radiation of the hydroxyl radical. Based on our measurements we developed our own model to explain the generation of cosmic maser radiation and compared it to the model from the literature.

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