AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 51. The New Radio Universe
Topical Session Oral, Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 2:30-4:00pm, 4:15-6:00pm, Ballroom C

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[51.09] Initial Conditions for Star Formation

N. J. Evans (Univ. of Texas at Austin)

Recent studies have provided important information on the initial conditions for the formation of low mass stars. These studies, using submillimeter continuum and line observations, have identified objects in the earliest stages of star formation as cold, dense cores in which most molecules are frozen onto dust grains. We are placing constraints on different theories of star formation with these observations. Our knowledge of the initial conditions and early stages of high mass star formation is much more limited. I will review recent surveys of regions in the early stages of massive star formation using molecular tracers of high density and dust continuum emission and consider the status of evolutionary schemes. The problem of initial conditions is particularly acute because there is a lack of observational evidence for regions capable of forming massive stars before star formation actually begins. I will conclude with some speculation about what such regions might look like and possibilities for their detection. This work is supported by the State of Texas, NASA, and NSF.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.