Exciting new vistas on high mass protostars and their circumstellar envelopes/disks
    Dieter Nuernberger, ESO Santiago + Paranal

    High mass protostars are usually deeply embedded in their natal environment which can be penetrated only at wavelengths beyond the mid IR.  In my presentation, I will report on our recent efforts to search for high mass protostars in two Galactic HII regions, namely NGC 3603 (Nuernberger, 2003, A&A) and M 17 (Chini et al., 2004, Nature).
Taking advantage of "curtain-lifting" stellar winds and ionizing photons from the central clusters of early type main sequence stars and making use of sensitive, high angular resolution observations in the near and mid IR, we have identified promising candidates which may play a decisive role in our understanding of high mass star formation processes. In particular, as we see evidence for the existence of (accretion) disks around these sources, one may favour the accretion scenario against the collision (coalescence) scenario