Description: The reasons for the differences between extremely powerful extragalatic water masers (EPEWMs) and strong Galactic H/sub 2/O masers are discussed. This model quite successfully explains many important characteristics of EPEWMs; the rapid time variations, the broad range and random velocity distribution, the extremely high luminosities, the various heights or widths of features in spectra, the strong infrared radiation from the galaxies, how an active nucleus contributes to an EPEWM, how some parts of EPEWMs producing strong features are pumped, why this pump mechanism can work, and why EPEWMs are different from strong Galactic H/sub 2/O masers. Recent observations of extragalactic water masers which have extremely high luminosities raise the possibility that the stimulated emission rate in the maser emission line in these regions is much higher than in Galactic masers. It is possible that the local stimulated emission rate exceeds the local bandwidth for the radiation. In this case the standard expression relating the photon emission rate to the profile averaged mean intensity does not apply. A new expression for the photon emission rate is derived.
Date: August 1, 1988
Creator: Wu, Ying-Cheng & Alcock, C.
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