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Jul24-10, 12:48 PM
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Quote Quote by Chronos View Post
Stars form at fairly vast distances apart. The probability of 2 eta carinae size stars forming close enought to interact is pretty low.
Then how would such stars form. It's been my understanding that once a star coalesces enough matter to start the fusion process, collection of gasses would cease, as the stellar wind would blow the gasses away.
The R136 star cluster hosts several stars whose individual masses greatly exceed the accepted 150 M⊙ stellar mass limit(2.2 Mb pdf)
Most, if not all, stars form in groups or clusters (Lada & Lada
2003). An average star forms with an initial mass of ∼0.5 M⊙
while the relative proportion of stars of higher and lower mass
obeys an apparently universal initial mass function (IMF, Kroupa
2002). In addition, there appears to be a relationship between the
mass of a cluster and its highest-mass star
The Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam seems to imply merging as a source of these big stars:
High-mass Star Formation
* Origin of massive stars in clusters and in the field (in collaboration with the RAVE project of the AIP)
* Mass segregation in young clusters and dynamical interactions (ejections and runaway OB stars, stellar collisions and mergers, progenitors of gamma-ray bursters)
* The origin of massive binaries and Trapezium-type systems
* Sequential massive star formation, starbursts
Looking at the image of the region, it's hard not to imagine mergers in such a dense cluster.

The image shows the central star cluster R136 in the extragalactic giant HII region 30 Doradus in the LMC.