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Session 31 - The Structure and Evolution of The Universe - I.
Topical, Oral session, Tuesday, June 09

[31.07] Star Formation, Near and Far

F. H. Shu (University of California, Berkeley)

We review what has been learned during the past two decades from observations of nearby star-forming regions, and the theory developed to describe the simplest case of the birth of low-mass stars from isolated molecular cloud cores. We then outline the principal difficulties in understanding the formation of high-mass stars, especially when they occur under crowded and turbulent conditions, as they usually do. Finally, we speculate on possible differences made by much lower metallicities and magnetic field strengths in the case of the formation of the first generation of stars. Throughout our discussion, we emphasize the importance of having measurements at the highest spatial and spectral resolutions if we are to make breakthroughs on the most obstinate problems in the field. Large-aperture telescopes and interferometric arrays at infrared, submillimeter, and millimeter wavelengths, operating from high mountaintops, or borne on airplanes or into space, are the crucial components for the observational attack on these very challenging problems.

Program listing for Tuesday