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Gary Fuller (University of Manchester, UK)

Gary Fuller Colloquium -- Peering Into The Darkness: Towards Understanding Massive Star Formation

The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:00-16:00 Wed 11 Sep 2013


Stars with masses greater than 8 times that of the Sun are key drivers of the
chemical and physical structure of the interstellar medium in the Milky Way
and other galaxies. The winds and radiation from these stars reshape the
interstellar medium; either enhancing or supressing further star
formation. The supernovae which mark the ends of the lives of these stars
pollute their galaxies with nuclear processed material which is enriched in
heavily elements. Yet, despite their importance in a wide range of
astrophysical phenomena, ranging from the chemical and physical evolution of
galaxies to the origin of gamma ray bursts, how massive stars form is poorly
understood, both observationally and theoretically.

In this colloquium, I will describe how three recent surveys with which I have
been involved are contributing to understanding the formation of massive
stars. The three surveys are: HiGAL (the Herschel Galactic Plane survey), the
Methanol MultiBeam survey and the Spitzer Dark Cloud survey. I will describe
these surveys and how we are using them to identify and study young massive
star forming regions. The results of our ALMA Cycle 0 observations of one
particularly interesting source identified in these surveys, and the
implications for models of massive star formation, will also be discussed.


Sebastian Haan

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