To appear in the Proceedings of "High Energy Processes and Phenomena in Astrophysics", IAU Symposium No.214, Suzhou (China), 5-10 August 2002; eds.: Xiang-dong Li, Zhen-ru Wang, Virginia Trimble.

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Roberto Soria

Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St Mary, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK;

Abstract. X-ray studies of nearby spiral galaxies with star formation allow us to investigate temperature and spatial distribution of the hot diffuse plasma, and to carry out individual and statistical studies of different classes of discrete sources (low- and high-mass X-ray binaries, Supernova remnants, supersoft and ultra-luminous sources). In particular, we briefly review the different models proposed to explain the ultra-luminous sources. We can then use the X-ray properties of a galaxy to probe its star formation history. We choose the starburst spiral M83 to illustrate some of these issues.

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