Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri

Largo E. Fermi 2,
I-50125 Firenze
tel: +39-055-2752268
fax: +39-055-220039
email: fontani@arcetri.astro.it

I work at the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri in the Star Formation Group

Research Interests: high-mass star formation

High-mass stars (M> 8 Msun) play an important role in the morphology and evolution of galaxies. Zero Age Main Sequence (ZAMS) massive stars are hotter (T> 17000 K), larger (R> 4Rsun) and more luminous (L> 103Lsun, i.e. earlier than B3) than low-mass ZAMS stars. Due to these characteristics, during their life they strongly influence the environment by means of powerful winds, massive molecular outflows, UV radiation, ionized regions and supernova explosions. For this reason, understanding the mechanisms that give rise to the formation and evolution of massive stars is a fundamental tool to investigate the structure and evolution of the Galaxy. In spite of this, the early evolutionary stages of a high-mass star are still poorly understood, and many questions remain unresolved at the moment. In particular, the ``standard'' theory of star formation, successful in explaining the formation of low-mass stars, is not able to explain how a star with mass higher than ~8 Msun can be formed.
My research interest is focused on the very early stages of the high-mass star formation process, aimed at the identification of high-mass protostellar objects and at understanding the intial conditions.
Another important topic of my research is the formation of protoclusters containing intermediate- and high-mass stars, with special attention to the impact that the higher-mass objects have in the evolution of these protoclusters

CV (pdf format)