|Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 1998. 36:
Copyright © 1998 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Reprinted with kind permission from Annual Reviews, 4139 El Camino Way, Palo Alto, California, USA
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.
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