An upper limit to the masses of stars

  title={An upper limit to the masses of stars},
  author={Donald F. Figer},
  • D. Figer
  • Published 8 March 2005
  • Physics, Medicine
  • Nature
There is no accepted upper mass limit for stars. Such a basic quantity eludes both theory and observation, because of an imperfect understanding of the star-formation process and because of incompleteness in surveying the Galaxy. The Arches cluster is ideal for investigating such limits, being large enough to expect stars at least as massive as ∼500 solar masses (∼ 500 M [circdot]; based on a typical mass function), and young enough for its most massive members to still be visible. It is also… 
Wind modelling of very massive stars up to 300 solar masses
The stellar upper-mass limit is highly uncertain. Some studies have claimed there is a universal upper limit of ∼150 M� . A factor that is often overlooked is that there might be a significant
Astronomy: Stellar mass limited
Hubble Space Telescope observations show that there are no stars in that size range, and point to 150 solar masses as the maximum size for a star.
Very massive stars: a metallicity-dependent upper-mass limit, slow winds, and the self-enrichment of globular clusters
  • J. Vink
  • Physics
    Astronomy & Astrophysics
  • 2018
One of the key questions in Astrophysics concerns the issue of whether there exists an upper-mass limit to stars, and if so, what physical mechanism sets this limit? The answer to this question might
The maximum stellar mass, star-cluster formation and composite stellar populations
We demonstrate that the mass of the most massive star in a cluster correlates non-trivially with the cluster mass. A simple algorithm, according to which a cluster is filled up with stars that are
A possible origin of the mass–metallicity relation of galaxies
Observations show that galaxies follow a mass-metallicity relation over a wide range of masses. One currently favoured explanation is that less massive galaxies are less able to retain the gas and
An excess of massive stars in the local 30 Doradus starburst
The recent formation history and the initial mass function (IMF) of massive stars in 30 Doradus is determined on the basis of spectroscopic observations of 247 stars more massive than 15 solar masses, and the main episode of massive star formation began about 8 million years ago and seems to have declined in the last 1 My.
Formation of Massive Stars by Runaway Accretion
Although massive stars play a dominant role in shaping galactic structure and evolution, their origin and early evolution are not well understood mainly because of the lack of a good observational
Re-examing the Upper Mass Limit of Very Massive Stars: VFTS 682, an isolated ~130 M ⊙ twin of R136’s WN5h core stars
Abstract Recent studies of WNh stars at the cores of young massive clusters have challenged the previously accepted upper stellar mass limit (~150 M ⊙), suggesting some of these objects may have
Life and Death of Very Massive Stars
We recently determined the mass of the most massive star known to the date, R136a1 with a mass at birth 320 times the mass of our sun, as well as the mass of several other stars that are more massive
The stellar and sub-stellar IMF of simple and composite populations
The current knowledge on the stellar IMF is documented. It appears to become top-heavy when the star-formation rate density surpasses about 0.1Msun/(yr pc^3) on a pc scale and it may become


Evidence for a fundamental stellar upper mass limit from clustered star formation
The observed masses of the most massive stars do not surpass about 150 M ○. . This may either be a fundamental upper mass limit which is defined by the physics of massive stars and/or their
Statistical sampling from the stellar initial mass function (IMF) for all star-forming regions in the Galaxy would lead to the prediction of ~1000 M☉ stars unless there is a rapid turn-down in the
An extraordinary cluster of massive stars near the centre of the Milky Way
The relative numbers of newborn stars of different masses in a galaxy (the initial mass function) determines whether the galaxy's interstellar gas goes mainly into long-lived low-mass stars, as in
Massive Stars in the Arches Cluster
We present and use new spectra and narrowband images, along with previously published broadband images, of stars in the Arches cluster to extract photometry, astrometry, equivalent width, and
On the formation of massive stars
A B STR A CT We present a model for the formation of massive (Mz10 M>) stars through accretion-induced collisions in the cores of embedded dense stellar clusters. This model circumvents the problem
Massive Stars in the Quintuplet Cluster
We present near-infrared photometry and K-band spectra of newly identified massive stars in the Quintuplet cluster, one of the three massive clusters projected within 50 pc of the Galactic center. We
The Initial Mass Function of Stars: Evidence for Uniformity in Variable Systems
Combining IMF estimates for different populations in which the stars can be observed individually unveils an extraordinary uniformity of the IMF, which appears to hold for populations including present-day star formation in small molecular clouds.
Metallicity in the Galactic Center: The Arches Cluster
We present a quantitative spectral analysis of five very massive stars in the Arches cluster, located near the Galactic center, to determine stellar parameters, stellar wind properties, and, most
Conditions for the formation of massive stars
Upper limits on the masses of stars that can form are reexamined and models for the inflow of matter through cocoons around stars of 60, 100, and 200 solar masses are calculated. Consideration is
The Secrets of the Nearest Starburst Cluster. I. Very Large Telescope/ISAAC Photometry of NGC 3603
VLT/ISAAC JHKL photometry with subarcsecond resolution of the dense, massive starburst cluster NGC 3603 YC forming the core of the NGC 3603 giant molecular cloud is analyzed to reveal characteristics