September 26, 2022

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Record mega far.  Discovered by a Polish-led team

Record mega far. Discovered by a Polish-led team

MegaMaser It is an exceptionally powerful maser, i.e. a source of microwave radiation – but it was not created by human hand. These are the names of the unusually powerful sources of such radiation detected in space.

Astronomers have discovered the farthest yet megamaseraway by up to 5 billion light-years. This was observed by the MeerKAT radio telescope operating in South Africa. The discoveries are the work of an international team led by the pole Dr. Marcin Joacki From the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) at Curtin University, Australia.

masers and lasersThey work on the principle of forced emission. In short, it is when a particular medium absorbs radiation, its atoms are excited. Then it gives up energy quickly and emits radiation – but the radiation is very coherent. Since they are emitted by the same atoms, all photons of radiation have the same wavelength and energy.

Or not mother, which emits microwaves, was built in 1953 at Columbia University. The first laser to emit visible light was made in 1960 at the Hughes Research Laboratory in California. Interestingly, after three years, the Polish laser was launched, which was manufactured at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw. It was first launched on August 20, 1963.

Where do these “devices” in space come from? There are often clouds of gas around young stars. Some of its components absorb the star’s radiation and return it in the form of forced emission – specifically in the microwave radiation range. The first cosmic maser was discovered in our galaxy in 1965. The suffix “mega”, meaning a million, means that it is a million times brighter than the sun.

These are not recurring things. About a hundred of these newly discovered hydroxylated hydroxyl groups have been found in space so far. Molecules of hydroxyl radicals (OH) are excited in them. There is also huge water in which radiation is emitted by water molecules.

The discovery of such a distant behemoth by the MeerKAT radio telescope especially pleased astronomers. It only proves the capabilities of the telescope launched in 2018.

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