The super-Eddington nature of supermassive stars

Calanit Dotan, Nir J. Shaviv*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Supermassive stars (SMSs) are massive hydrogen objects that slowly radiate their gravitational binding energy. Such hypothetical primordial objects may have been the seed of the massive black holes (BHs) observed at the centre of galaxies. Under the standard picture, these objects can be approximately described as n = 3 polytropes, and they are expected to shine extremely close to their Eddington luminosity. Once however one considers the porosity induced by instabilities near the Eddington limit, which give rise to super-Eddington states, the standard picture should be modified. We study the structure, evolution and mass loss of these objects. We find the following. First, the evolution of SMSs is hastened due to their increased energy release. They accelerate continuum-driven winds. If there is no rotational stabilization, these winds are insufficient to evaporate the objects such that they can collapse to form supermassive BHs, however, they do prevent SMSs from emitting a copious amount of ionizing radiation. If the SMSs are rotationally stabilized, the winds evaporate the objects until a normal sub- Eddington star remains having a mass of a few × 100M⊙.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3071-3080
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2012


  • First stars
  • Outflows - dark ages
  • Population III - stars
  • Reionization
  • Stars
  • Winds


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