ARlogo Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 2012. 50:531-608
Copyright © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved

Reprinted with kind permission from Annual Reviews, 4139 El Camino Way, Palo Alto, California, USA

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STAR FORMATION IN THE MILKY WAY AND NEARBY GALAXIES

Robert C. Kennicutt, Jr.

Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, United Kingdom

Neal J. Evans II

The University of Texas at Austin, TX 78712-1205, USA and European Southern Observatory, Santiago 19, Chile


Abstract: We review progress over the past decade in observations of large-scale star formation, with a focus on the interface between extragalactic and Galactic studies. Methods of measuring gas contents and star formation rates are discussed, and updated prescriptions for calculating star formation rates are provided. We review relations between star formation and gas on scales ranging from entire galaxies to individual molecular clouds.


Keywords: star formation, galaxies, Milky Way


Table of Contents

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Definitions and Conventions
Questions

ISM DIAGNOSTICS: GAS AND DUST
ISM Basics
Clouds and Their Structures
Dust as an ISM Tracer
Gas Tracers
The Cold Atomic Phase
Molecular Gas
Dense Gas Tracers
Summary
Mass Functions of Stars, Clusters, and Gas Structures

SFR DIAGNOSTICS: THE IMPACT OF MULTI-WAVELENGTH OBSERVATIONS
Star Counting and CMD Analysis
Ultraviolet Continuum Measurements: The Impact of GALEX
Emission-Line Tracers
Infrared Emission: The Impact of Spitzer and Herschel
Radio Continuum Emission
X-ray Emission
Composite Multi-Wavelength Tracers
An Updated Compendium of Integrated SFR Calibrations
The Challenge of Spatially-Resolved Star Formation Rates in Galaxies

THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVE: FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT
Outline of low-mass star formation
Formation of Clusters and High-mass Stars
Theoretical Aspects
Summary Points from the Local Perspective

THE GALACTIC PERSPECTIVE: FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
The Milky Way as a Star-forming Galaxy
Surveys
The Milky Way as a Whole
Radial Distributions
Non-axisymmetric Structure
Demographics of Star-Forming Galaxies Today
The High-Density Regime: Starbursts
The Low SFR and Low Density Regimes

STAR FORMATION RELATIONS
The Disk-Averaged Star Formation Law
Radial Distributions of Star Formation and Gas
The Star Formation Law on Sub-Kiloparsec Scales
Local Measurements of Star Formation Relations

TOWARD A SYNTHESIS
Summary: Clues from Observations
The Low-density Regime
The Intermediate-density Regime
The High-density Regime
Clues from Studies of Molecular Clouds
Some Speculations
Future Prospects

REFERENCES

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