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The role of massive stars in astrophysics
Kennicutt, Robert C.
Massive star birth: A crossroads of Astrophysics, IAU Symposium Proceedings of the international Astronomical Union 227, Held 16-20 May, Italy, edited by Cesaroni, R.; Felli, M.; Churchwell, E.; Walmsley, M. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005., pp.3-11
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The importance of massive stars in astrophysics is self-evident to all of us. However the full scope of this role has only become apparent over the last few years, as we begin to understand the central role that massive star formation and evolution plays in phenomena ranging from the structure and evolution of the interstellar medium, galaxy formation and evolution, nuclear activity in galaxies, and even the reionization of the universe itself. This paper briefly reviews this broad relevance of massive star formation, and the wide range in massive star formation environments found in the local universe.

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