Massive stars found

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wolram
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http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/spitzer_reveals_hidden_massive_stars.html?1342004
"We've never seen anything like this before," said Dr. William Reach, an investigator for the latest observations and an astronomer at the Spitzer Science Center, located at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. "The massive stars are ripping the cloud of gas and dust around them to shreds."

Spitzer's highly sensitive infrared detectors were able to see past the obscuring dust to the stars behind. The new false-color image spans a vast expanse of space, with DR21 at the top center. Within DR21, a dense knot of massive stars can be seen surrounded by a wispy cloud of gas and dust. Red filaments containing organic compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons stretch horizontally and vertically across this cloud. A green jet of gas shoots downward past the bulge of stars and represents fast-moving, hot gas being ejected from the region's biggest star.
 

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  • #2
wolram
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatic_hydrocarbon

In 2004 (at the 203rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in January 2004) (American Astronomical Society, n.d.), it was reported (as cited in Battersby, 2004) that a team led by A. Witt of the University of Toledo, Ohio studied ultraviolet light emitted by the Red Rectangle nebula and found the spectral signatures of anthracene and pyrene. (No other such complex molecules had ever before been found in space.) This discovery was----
 
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wolram
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is this the stuff of life? did life start in a nebula?
 
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I skimmed through the article and didn't see anything that compares how big the stars are to something else.
 
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Nereid
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The PR doesn't give any mass estimates, just luminosity ones. For comparison, a main sequence star with a luminosity of 100,000 times that of the Sun would have a mass ~25x sol.

Most massive stars? Well, http://www.astronomy.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/001/063yrtnn.asp [Broken] is pretty massive too.
 
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Nereid
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Curious how the ESO issued a PR earlier today ... http://www.eso.org/outreach/press-rel/pr-2004/pr-12-04.html [Broken].

It reports on observations of "the largest circumstellar disc ever detected", which may be a massive star in the process of forming. If so, the star could well become a ~40 sol one :smile:
 
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