Very Massive Stars in the Local Universe

Jorick S. Vink^1, Alexander Heger, Mark R. Krumholz, Joachim Puls, S. Banerjee, N. Castro, K.-J. Chen, A.-N. Chene, P.A. Crowther, A. Daminelli, G. Grafener, J. H. Groh, W.-R. Hamann, S. Heap, A. Herrero, L. Kaper, F. Najarro, L. M. Oskinova, A. Roman-Lopes, A. Rosen, A. Sander, M. Shirazi, Y. Sugawara, F. Tramper, D. Vanbeveren, R. Voss, A. Wofford, Y. Zhang (and the other participants of Joint Discussion 2 IAU-GA)

^1 Armagh Observatory, College Hill, BT61 9DG, Armagh, United Kingdom

Recent studies have claimed the existence of very massive stars (VMS) up to 300 solar masses in the local Universe. As this finding may represent a paradigm shift for the canonical stellar upper-mass limit of 150 Msun, it is timely to discuss the status of the data, as well as the far-reaching implications of such objects.

We held a Joint Discussion at the General Assembly in Beijing to discuss:

(i) the determination of the current masses of the most massive stars,
(ii) the formation of VMS,
(iii) their mass loss, and
(iv) their evolution and final fate.

Reference: Astro-ph 1302.2021
Status: Conference proceedings


Comments: 29 pages. To be published in Highlights of Astronomy