Our Own Starburst

Joao Alves, Nicole Homeier

Publications: Contribution to journalArticle


In this article we present the first results from a near-infrared campaign to characterize our Galaxy's own starburst event, W49A, a prodigious factory of massive stars at a distance of about 12 kpc and concealed from observations at visible wavelengths by more than 25 magnitudes of intervening dust extinction. Our results so far reveal the presence of previously unknown massive stellar clusters containing more than 100 OB stars, some as massive as 120 M⊙, most still embedded in their parental molecular cloud and with ages as young as 104-5 yr. We argue that this ongoing starburst appears to have been multi-seeded instead of resulting from a coherent trigger.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-38
JournalThe Messenger
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003

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