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The Formation of Massive Stars

6 Jul 2020, 18:45 UTC
The Formation of Massive Stars
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Title: The Role of Outflows, Radiation Pressure, and Magnetic Fields in Massive Star FormationAuthors: Anna Rosen and Mark KrumholzFirst Author’s Institution: Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian, Cambridge, MAStatus: Accepted to ApJ, open access on arXivStellar physics is a broad field that touches on a range of phenomena from magnetic fields to radiative processes and thermonuclear fusion to plasmas. Stars form through the gravitational collapse of cold, dense, dusty proto-stellar cores, themselves embedded in thick molecular clouds or filaments. Massive stars, defined as those with a mass greater than 8 solar masses, are of key interest in star formation. Although they are extremely rare, comprising less than 1% of the total stellar population, they make their presence known by dominating the surrounding interstellar medium (ISM) with their powerful stellar winds as well as shocks from their eventual supernovae. Their formation is known to be impeded by several feedback mechanisms, including outflows, radiation pressure and magnetic fields. Today’s paper uses a series of radiative magnetohydrodynamic (RMHD) simulations to understand the overall impact that these combined mechanisms have on star formation.

Pushing the BoundariesThe fact that massive stars are so rare is reflective of a more general problem with star formation: its ...

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