[Previous] | [Session 67] | [Next]
J. S. Gallagher (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Measurements of galactic star formation rates (SFRs) are critical for understanding the properties and evolution of populations of galaxies. SFRs are derived by determining luminosities and thus masses in short-lived OB stars; total SFRs then can be calculated using the initial mass function (IMF). This talk will review major methods for measuring SFRs from observations in the UV, H-recombination lines, and FIR. Results from SFR measurements for normal disk galaxies will be presented and compared with predictions of standard theoretical models and other galactic properties. A broader issue is finding the star formation history, the variation in the SFR over time, in a galaxy. Recent observational progress towards such measurements also will be briefly considered and contrasted with results from global measurements of the mean cosmic SFR versus time.
Research support from NASA through a variety of programs for work in this area is gratefully acknowledged.