Pew, pew! Scientists detect record-breaking ‘megamaser’ 5 billion light-years away.

In just one night of observing, scientists detected a new record-breaker — the most distant megamaser known to date.

A megamaser is a super-powerful laser made of microwave light (hence maser). Megamasers come in a few different flavors, but the one the scientists detected is the most common type, which displays the signal of hydroxyl, a molecule made up of one atom of oxygen and one atom of hydrogen. The team argues that the newly detected megamaser, one of the brightest such beams known to date, marks a galactic collision

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