The Soul of High-Mass Star Formation

Despite the influence that high-mass stars have in the evolution of galaxies, being the principal tracers of star formation, the progenitors of core collapse supernovae, and the main sources of chemical enrichment, turbulence and mixing in the interstellar medium, the details of their formation process and early evolution of high-mass stars are still not well understood.

Young massive stars are typically found in complex environments involving gravitational interaction, winds, outflows and ionizing radiation. Thus the study of high-mass stars from both observational and theoretical point of view is complex and there is still no consensus on the key mechanisms leading to their formation. During the last decade many large-scale surveys (e.g. GLIMPSE, ATLASGAL) led to the identification of massive star formation regions in their earliest stages in our Galaxy. These have been observed with new instruments, in particular massive Herschel data has been taken to characterize physically and chemically the most embedded sources on moderate to large spatial scales. Today, when ALMA will soon begin full operations opening new windows in frequency, chemistry, spatial resolution, and sensitivity, it is timely to discuss our current understanding and open questions on massive star formation.

Key science topics to be discussed during the conference:

  • High-Mass Star Formation Theory and Simulations
  • Early Stages of High-Mass Star Formation
  • Cores and Filaments
  • Chemistry
  • Massive Disks
  • Massive Jets/Outflows
  • Milky Way Surveys
  • Massive Clusters
  • Inner Galaxy
  • Nearby Galaxies