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Rayleigh Taylor Instabilities and High Mass Star Formation: Theory vs Observations

M. S. Nanda Kumar

The formation of high mass (OB type) stars is an enigmatic topic in astrophysics revolving around a singular issue: the dissipation of intense radiation pressure in the early stages of massive proto-stellar collapse, which is thought to be capable of reversing accretion flows. Some theoretical solutions to this problem predict that radiation-pressure-driven outflow cavities will collapse back on to the proto-star via Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities (RTI), allowing mass build up. Observing RTI features is challenging and not found till now, which are argued by some theories to be due to their inexistence or stability issues. In this talk I will report observational evidences of tiny (a few thousand AU) filamentary features in the outflow cavity of a high mass star forming system, and present evidences which argues for their likely RTI nature. I will also review the pros and cons of competing theoretical scenarios and discuss the impact of the new observational analysis in confronting them.

2013 March 13, 13:30

Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (Auditorium)
Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto

Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia