Lecture Notes in Physics Volume 412, 1993, pp 73-82
Date: 24 May 2005

Molecular megamasers after ten years

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Megamaser activity for the molecules OH, CH, H2CO, and H2O is reviewed in terms of a consistent picture of exponential amplification of radio continuum by foreground molecular gas. The different characteristics of the various types of megamasers can all be related to the density and pumping conditions of the molecular gas. These conditions strongly depend on the evolutionary stage of the nuclear activity.