Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics

The Impact of Radiation-Driven Stellar and Disk Mass Loss on Massive Star Formation

Nathaniel Dylan Kee, University of Leuven, Belgium - 18.11.19


Studies of luminous, massive stars often highlight the crucial role that radiation-driven mass loss plays throughout the stellar lifetime in controlling a star's evolution and eventual fate. This impact is particularly pronounced for the highest mass stars with stellar mass ~100x the solar mass. However, numerical radiation-hydrodynamics simulations of the births of these most massive stars often do not examine the role this physics plays in controlling the star's initial mass and the dynamics of its natal environment. Here I highlight recent efforts by myself and collaborators to rectify this situation. The first of the two projects I discuss examines the effects of radiation driven stellar winds at au- to pc-scales. This project is particularly concerned with the role that this stellar wind feedback plays in shaping the stellar accretion rate and in the expansion of the star's ionized HII region. The second project zooms to sub-au scales to investigate the role radiation driven disk winds play. This project also examines the rate at which material can accrete onto the forming star, now with a particular emphasis on the impact these disk winds may play in explaining the origin of the stellar upper mass limit.