Star Formation in crowds: Protostars and feedback in protoclusters

Main Colloquium
Prof. Adam Ginsburg
University of Florida, Gainesville, USA

Star formation is the defining process in the evolution of galaxies. Our understanding of star formation has primarily been informed by low-mass stars in nearby clouds, but these nearby regions do not reflect typical conditions over the history of the universe. The denser and more crowded regions that represent our own origins exist within our Galaxy, and ALMA allows us to explore these regions in ways previously impossible. My research group is working to count forming stars in high-mass protoclusters, with the ultimate aim of answering how the stellar initial mass function (IMF) forms from gas. I will discuss recent and ongoing efforts to count protostars and cores, measure their masses, and measure the gas they came from. These include the ALMA-IMF large program and comparable observations toward W49 and Sgr B2. I will highlight the recently-discovered lines of salt (NaCl and KCl) and CS masers as tools for measuring high-mass stars with disks. Finally, I will describe a planned small satellite mission, PASHION, that will map the Paschen Alpha line throughout the Galaxy.