AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 67. Measuring the History of Star Formation Using the Rest Ultraviolet
Topical Session Oral, Wednesday, June 6, 2001, 2:30-6:00pm, C107

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[67.02] UV measurements of the local SFR

B. Milliard, J. Donas, V. Buat, J.-M. Deharveng (LAS)

Because of its strong interest in itself and for comparison to the hi-z Universe, the rest-UV approach to the global SFR in the local Universe has motivated a long standing effort to overcome the difficulties inherent to observations from space. This brief review focuses on the results obtained from wide-band observations on ``normally star forming" galaxies, which show only moderate dust attenuation and may well host the bulk of the star formation activity in the local Universe (Strong starbursts are addressed by Tim Heckman, this Session).

The wide-band rest-UV approach is first illustrated with results on the major characteristics of star formation in nearby individual galaxies, their variations along the Hubble sequence and their links with the gas content and galaxy parameters.

The availability of a few genuine rest-UV selected galaxies samples at reshifts below 0.5 has opened the door to the first statistical approaches to the global star formation parameters in the local Universe. The results address the derivation of the FUV luminosity function, the global star formation intensity, the influence of environment, and the amount of star formation that could be hidden to rest-UV selected samples.

Along the talk, the rest-UV approach to SFR is compared to other young population tracers. We expose its strengths and weaknesses, and stress how complementary data available in the local Universe helps find a way around the major limitations to the accuracy (namely the dust attenuation-see also Daniella Calzetti this Session, the metallicity effects, the IMF scatter and the microhistory- see also Richard Ellis, this Session). We end with some perspectives promised by GALEX.

Funding by CNES and CNRS is acknowledged.

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