Far-away maser to throw light on dark energy


THE most distant and powerful cosmic maser – the microwave equivalent of a laser – has been discovered in a bright, active galaxy. Such masers could reveal the properties of the elusive dark energy thought to be driving the expansion of the universe. Cosmic masers are gas clouds that emit microwaves when excited by radiation from nearby quasars or bright, young stars. Robert Antonucci of the University of California in Santa Barbara and colleagues were looking for masers around 47 distant quasars,
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