OUTFLOW, INFALL, AND ROTATION IN HIGH-MASS STAR FORMING REGIONS

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Abstract

According to theory, stars more massive than ∼8 M⊙ must form while still accreting material from the surrounding parental cloud: at this stage radiation pressure should reverse the infall thus preventing further growth of the stellar mass. After illustrating the two models proposed to solve this problem (“accretion” and “coalescence”), we review the observational evidence pro/contra such models, focusing on the kinematics of the molecular gas where the massive (proto)stars are embedded as the best tool to shed light on the formation mechanism. Special attention is devoted to the phenomena of infall, outflow, and rotation, concluding that the recent detection of rotating disks in massive young stellar objects is the best evidence so far in favour of the accretion model.

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