What drives the formation of massive stars and clusters?

Bram Ochsendorf (JHU)

Galaxy-wide surveys allow to study star formation in unprecedented ways. In this talk, I will discuss our analysis of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Milky Way, and illustrate how studying both the large and small scale structure of galaxies are critical in addressing the question: what drives the formation of massive stars and clusters?
I will show that ‘turbulence-regulated’ star formation models do not reproduce massive star formation properties of GMCs in the LMC and Milky Way: this suggests that theory currently does not capture the full complexity of star formation on small  scales. I will also report on the discovery of a massive star forming complex in the LMC, which in many ways manifests itself as an embedded twin of 30 Doradus: this may shed light on the formation of R136 and ‘Super Star Clusters’ in general. Finally, I will highlight what we can expect in the next years in the field of star formation with ALMA, JWST, and large-scale sky surveys.
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