Observations on the formation of Massive Stars by Accretion

E Keto, Kenneth Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Observations of the H66 alpha recombination line from the ionized gas in the cluster of newly formed massive stars, G10.6-0.4, show that most of the continuum emission derives from the dense gas in an ionized accretion flow that forms an ionized disk or torus around a group of stars in the center of the cluster. The inward motion observed in the accretion flow suggests that despite the equivalent luminosity and ionizing radiation of several O stars, neither radiation pressure nor thermal pressure has reversed the accretion flow. The observations indicate why the radiation pressure of the stars and the thermal pressure of the H II region are not effective in reversing the accretion flow. The observed rate of the accretion flow, 10(-3) M-circle dot yr(-1), is sufficient to form massive stars within the timescale imposed by their short main-sequence lifetimes. A simple model of disk accretion relates quenched H II regions, trapped hyper-compact H II regions, and photoevaporating disks in an evolutionary sequence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850
Number of pages850
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume637
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006

Keywords

  • ISM : individual (G10.6-0.4)
  • stars : formation
  • H-II REGIONS
  • ULTRACOMPACT HII REGION
  • YOUNG STELLAR OBJECTS
  • MOLECULAR OUTFLOWS
  • MAIN-SEQUENCE
  • ROTATING-DISK
  • HOT CORE
  • EVOLUTION
  • G10.6-0.4
  • EMISSION

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