Masers: Precision probes of molecular gas
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020

Maser emission from water, methanol, silicon monoxide and other molecules can reach brightness temperatures ≫1010 K. Such observations can achieve sub-pc precision for discs around black holes or sub-au scale interactions in protostellar discs and the regions where evolved star winds reach escape velocity. Ultra-high resolution maser observations also provide photon statistics, for fundamental physics experiments. RadioAstron has shown the success – and limitations – of cm-wave maser observations on scales ≪1 mas with sparse baseline coverage. ALMA, APEX and earlier single dish searches have found a wealth of mm and sub-mm masers, some of which probably also attain high brightness temperatures. Masers are ideal for high-resolution observations throughout the radio regime and we need to consider the current lessons for the best observational strategies to meet specific science cases.

Stars: AGB

Star formation

Stars: mass loss

Planetary systems: protoplanetary disks

Stars: supergiant



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University of Manchester

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Ural Federal University

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Université de Bordeaux

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Université de Bordeaux

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KU Leuven

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University of Manchester

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University of Manchester

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European Southern Observatory (ESO)

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Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Astronomi och plasmafysik, Galaktisk astrofysik

Advances in Space Research

0273-1177 (ISSN)

Vol. 65 2 780-789


Meteorologi och atmosfärforskning

Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi

Fusion, plasma och rymdfysik



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