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For refcode 2001ApJ...548..681B:
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Copyright by American Astronomical Society. Reproduced by permission
2001ApJ...548..681B A Comparison of Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope Far-Ultraviolet and H{alpha} Star Formation Rates Eric F. Bell and Robert C. Kennicutt, Jr. Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721; ebell@as.arizona.edu, robk@as.arizona.edu Received 2000 August 10; accepted 2000 October 18 ABSTRACT We have used archival ultraviolet (UV) imaging of 50 nearby star-forming galaxies obtained with the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT) to derive integrated near-UV and far-UV magnitudes, and have combined these data with H{alpha}, far-infrared, and thermal radio continuum measurements to explore the consistency of UV and H{alpha} star formation rates (SFRs). In agreement with previous studies, we find that the UV and H{alpha} SFRs are qualitatively consistent, even before corrections for extinction are applied. The uncorrected UV SFRs are systematically lower by a factor of 1.5 (with a factor of 2 scatter) among luminous galaxies with SFR >~ 1 M_sun_ yr^-1^, indicating a higher effective attenuation of the far-UV radiation. Among less luminous galaxies there is no significant offset between the H{alpha} and far-UV SFR scales. This behavior is consistent with that of higher redshift samples observed by Sullivan et al., Glazebrook et al., and Yan et al. for comparable ranges of galaxy luminosities and absolute SFRs. Far-infrared and thermal radio continuum data available for a subset of our sample allow us to estimate the attenuation in the UV and at H{alpha} independently. The UV and H {alpha} attenuations appear to be correlated, and confirm systematically higher attenuations in the UV. Although the galaxies in our sample show modest levels of attenuation (with median values of 0.9 mag at H{alpha} and 1.4 mag at 1550 A), the range across the sample is large, ~4 mag for H{alpha} and >~5 mag in the far-UV (1550 A). This indicates that the application of a single characteristic extinction correction to H{alpha} or UV SFRs is only realistic for large, well-defined and well-studied galaxy samples, and that extinction bias may be important for UV or emission-line-selected samples of star-forming galaxies. Subject headings: dust, extinction-galaxies: evolution-galaxies: general- galaxies: photometry-galaxies: stellar content-ultraviolet: galaxies
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