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M. S. Oey (University of Michigan)
The most massive members of the stellar initial mass function, although uncommon, are energetically the most important stellar population for evolutionary phenomena in galaxies. Massive stars are defined here as progenitors of core-collapse supernovae (SNe) and have zero-age main sequence masses of \gtrsim 8 M\odot. Their ionizing radiation, SN explosions, and nucleosynthesis processes alter and drive evolution of the interstellar and intergalactic media in numerous and complex ways. However, in the local universe, this population of stars lends itself to tractable analytic relations and parameterizations for these various feedback processes. These include the behavior of the HII region luminosity function, size distribution of superbubbles, porosity of the interstellar medium, escape criteria for galactic superwinds, metallicity distribution function, and fraction of zero-metallicity stars. As a population, the relation between the field and clustered massive stars is emerging, and also the local, stellar upper mass limit.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.