The scientific research in the workgroup of Prof. Dr. Peter Schilke focuses on different aspects highly related to the formation process of high-mass stars. We study how high-mass stars (stars with more than ≈ 8 times the mass of the Sun) are formed. This includes how material is transported from the large scale molecular clouds (with sizes of a few pc) to small dense cores (with sizes of a few thousand AU, or about 0.01 pc), how feedback (e.g. from stellar winds, ionized radiation, powerful ejection of material or outflows) from newly-born stars affect this process, how chemistry evolves from the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) to the dense clouds, and to dense cores. In recent years, we have expanded the studies to clusters surrounding high-mass stars, their formation and properties, and to extragalactic star-formation sites, notably in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
There is also considerable interest in the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium.
We study these aspects of the formation of stars with two different approaches that are highly interconnected: (1) we make use of astronomical observatories in a broad range of frequencies (or wavelengths) from the ultraviolet down to the radio domain, and (2) we compare the observational findings with models and numerical simulations that aim at reproducing the physical and chemical structure of the objects studied.
This section describes the research we do, with links to more detailed publications. If you want to know more, please contact any of us.