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The Early Stages of High-Mass Star Formation
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm PDT
University of St. Andrews
N232, Room 103
Most stars form in clusters, yet basic aspects of how this occurs remain unknown, including the relative birth order of high and low mass stars. In clump-scale "competitive accretion"-type models, massive stars and their surrounding cluster of lower mass stars form simultaneously. Thus a key, testable prediction of these models is that centrally condensed low-mass cores should exist within the accretion reservoir of a forming massive star. I will present results from an ALMA Cycle 2 program to search for low-mass cores within the accretion reservoir of a high-mass (proto)cluster. Our ALMA mosaic, with a linear resolution of ~1700 AU, reveals a rich population of low-mass cores surrounding the central, massive (proto)cluster members, consistent with the predictions of competitive accretion models. I will also present high-resolution SMA observations of two of the massive (proto)cluster members: MM2, arguably the best candidate to date for a massive starless (prestellar) core, and MM1, a young proto-O star with an apparently Keplerian disk.