Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 1998. 36: 189-231
Copyright © 1998 by . All rights reserved

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


STAR FORMATION IN GALAXIES ALONG THE HUBBLE SEQUENCE

Robert C. Kennicutt, Jr.


Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721;
e-mail: rkennicutt@as.arizona.edu


KEY WORDS: galaxy evolution, starbursts, spiral galaxies, star formation rates, stellar populations


Abstract. Observations of star formation rates (SFRs) in galaxies provide vital clues to the physical nature of the Hubble sequence and are key probes of the evolutionary histories of galaxies. The focus of this review is on the broad patterns in the star formation properties of galaxies along the Hubble sequence and their implications for understanding galaxy evolution and the physical processes that drive the evolution. Star formation in the disks and nuclear regions of galaxies are reviewed separately, then discussed within a common interpretive framework. The diagnostic methods used to measure SFRs are also reviewed, and a self-consistent set of SFR calibrations is presented as an aid to workers in the field.


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

DIAGNOSTIC METHODS
Integrated Colors and Spectra, Synthesis Modeling
Ultraviolet Continuum
Recombination Lines
Forbidden Lines
Far-Infrared Continuum

DISK STAR FORMATION
Global Star Formation Rates Along the Hubble Sequence
Dependence of Star Formation Rates on Gas Content
Other Global Influences on Star Formation Rate

CIRCUMNUCLEAR STAR FORMATION AND STARBURSTS
Star Formation Rates and Physical Properties
Dependence on Type and Environment

INTERPRETATION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR GALAXY EVOLUTION
Disk Evolution Along the Hubble Sequence
Evolution of Circumnuclear Star Formation
Physical Regulation of Star Formation Rate

FUTURE PROSPECTS

REFERENCES

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