Massive stars

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High mass stars
High-mass stars
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definition A star whose mass is larger than approximately 10 solar masses. The spectral types of massive stars range from about B3 (B star) to O2 (O star) and include Wolf-Rayet stars as well as Luminous Blue Variables. Massive stars are very rare; for each star of 20 solar masses there are some 100,000 stars of 1 solar mass. Despite this rarity, they play a key role in astrophysics. They are major sites of nucleosynthesis beyond oxygen and, therefore, are mainly responsible for the chemical evolution of galaxies. Due to their high ultraviolet flux and powerful stellar winds, they bring about interesting phenomena in the interstellar medium, like H II regions, turbulence, shocks, bubbles, and so on. Massive stars are progenitors of supernovae (type Ia, type Ic and type II), neutron stars, and black holes. The formation processes of massive stars is still an unresolved problem. For massive stars the accretion time scale is larger than the Kelvin-Helmholtz time scale. This means that massive stars reach the main sequence while accretion is still going on.
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