Astronomy Colloquium / Spring 2009

February 25

Prof. Mark Krumholz

UC Santa Cruz

"From Massive Cores to Massive Stars"

The similarity between the mass and spatial distributions of pre-stellar gas cores in star-forming clouds and young stars in clusters provides strong circumstantial evidence that these gas cores are the direct progenitors of individual stars. I describe a physical model for the evolution of massive cores into stars, starting with the intial phases of collapse and fragmentation, through disk formation and evolution, and finally to the point where stellar feedback begins to dominate. This model shows that a direct mapping from cores to stars is the natural physical outcome of massive core evolution, and thereby allows us to explain many of the properties of young star clusters as direct imprints of their gas-phase progenitors.