AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 14. Galaxy - Contents
Poster, Monday, January 6, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[14.06] H-alpha and Infrared Star Formation Rates for the Nearby Field Galaxy Survey

L. J. Kewley (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), M. J. Geller (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory), R. A. Jansen (Arizona State University), M. A. Dopita (Australian National University)

We investigate the H-alpha and infrared star formation rate (SFR) diagnostics for galaxies in the Nearby Field Galaxy Survey (NFGS). For the 81 galaxies in our sample, we derive H-alpha fluxes (included here) from integrated spectra. There is a strong correlation between the ratio of far-infrared to optical luminosities L(FIR)/L(H-alpha) and the extinction E(B-V) measured with the Balmer decrement. Correction of the SFR(H-alpha) for extinction using the Balmer decrement and a classical reddening curve both reduces the scatter in the SFR(IR)-SFR(H-alpha) correlation and results in a much closer agreement between the two SFR indicators. SFR(IR) and SFR(H-alpha) agree to within approximately 10%. This SFR relationship spans 4 orders of magnitude and holds for all Hubble types with IRAS detections in the NFGS. A constant ratio between the SFR(IR) and SFR(H-alpha) for all Hubble types, including early types (S0-Sab), suggests that the IR emission in all of these objects results from a young stellar population.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
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