Toward Understanding Massive Star Formation - AstrophysicsReport as inadecuate

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Abstract: Although fundamental for astrophysics, the processes that produce massivestars are not well understood. Large distances, high extinction, and shorttimescales of critical evolutionary phases make observations of these processeschallenging. Lacking good observational guidance, theoretical models haveremained controversial. This review offers a basic description of the collapseof a massive molecular core and a critical discussion of the three competingconcepts of massive star formation:- monolithic collapse in isolated cores- competitive accretion in a protocluster environment- stellar collisions and mergers in very dense systemsWe also review the observed outflows, multiplicity, and clustering propertiesof massive stars, the upper initial mass function and the upper mass limit. Weconclude that high-mass star formation is not merely a scaled-up version oflow-mass star formation with higher accretion rates, but partly a mechanism ofits own, primarily owing to the role of stellar mass and radiation pressure incontrolling the dynamics.

Author: Hans Zinnecker, Harold W. Yorke



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