The APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL) survey has revealed an unprecedented number of cold dense clumps of gas and dust as the cradles of massive stars, thus providing a complete view of their birthplaces in the Milky Way. Based on this census, an international team of scientists led by Timea Csengeri from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn has estimated the time scale for these nurseries to grow stars. This has been found to be a very fast process: with only 75,000 years on average it is much shorter than the corresponding time scales typically found for nurseries of lower mass stars.
Get the pre-print of the research paper - “The ATLASGAL survey: a catalog of dust condensations in the galactic plane,” T. Csengeri, J. S. Urquhart, F. Schuller, F. Motte, S. Bontemps, F. Wyrowski, K. M. Menten, L. Bronfman, H. Beuther, Th. Henning, L. Testi, A. Zavagno, M. Walmsley, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Vol. 565, A75 (May 2014).