Circumventing the radiation pressure barrier in the formation of massive stars via disk accretion

Rolf Kuiper$^{1,2}$, Hubert Klahr$^2$, Henrik Beuther$^2$, and Thomas Henning$^2$

1 - Argelander Institute for Astronomy, Bonn University, Auf dem Hügel 71, D-53121 Bonn;
2 - Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg

We present radiation hydrodynamics simulations of the collapse of massive pre-stellar cores. We treat frequency dependent radiative feedback from stellar evolution and accretion luminosity at a numerical resolution down to 1.27 AU.
In the 2D approximation of axially symmetric simulations, it is possible for the first time to simulate the whole accretion phase (up to the end of the accretion disk epoch) for the forming massive star and to perform a broad scan of the parameter space. Our simulation series show evidently the necessity to incorporate the dust sublimation front to preserve the high shielding property of massive accretion disks.
While confirming the upper mass limit of spherically symmetric accretion, our disk accretion models show a persistent high anisotropy of the corresponding thermal radiation field. This yields to the growth of the highest-mass stars ever formed in multi-dimensional radiation hydrodynamics simulations, far beyond the upper mass limit of spherical accretion. Non-axially symmetric effects are not necessary to sustain accretion. The radiation pressure launches a stable bipolar outflow, which grows in angle with time as presumed from observations.
For an initial mass of the pre-stellar host core of 60, 120, 240, and 480 Msun the masses of the final stars formed in our simulations add up to 28.2, 56.5, 92.6, and at least 137.2 Msun respectively.

Reference: accepted at ApJ
Status: Manuscript has been accepted