Astrophysical Masers - why Weak H20 Masers are Weakly Polarized and Strong H20 Masers are Hardly Polarized
The authors present the theory for polarized maser emission by the transition having an arbitrary angular momentum with emphasis on the H2O 616-523 maser emission. High linear polarizations have been detected for water masers - most notably in the giant outburst from Orion (about 60%). Sources of water maser emission with powers that are stronger than the strongest in our own galaxy (those in W49) have been found in the nuclei of galaxies. Like W49 masers, these powerful extragalactic masers are not appreciably polarized. If one of characteristics of these strongest masers is to be that they are unpolarized, an interpretation can be made in terms of the requirements for polarized (or unpolarized) maser emission in the presence of a magnetic field.
Masers, Molecules, and Mass Outflows in Star Formation Regions
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