Publication Date

2009

Comments

This is the pre-published version harvested from arXiv. The published version is located at http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/703/2/1672/

Abstract

We combine Hα emission-line and infrared (IR) continuum measurements of two samples of nearby galaxies to derive dust attenuation-corrected star formation rates (SFRs). We use a simple energy balance based method that has been applied previously to H II regions in the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey, and extend the methodology to integrated measurements of galaxies. We find that our composite Hα + IR based SFRs are in excellent agreement with attenuation-corrected SFRs derived from integrated spectrophotometry, over the full range of SFRs (0.01-80 M sun yr-1) and attenuations (0-2.5 mag) studied. We find that the combination of Hα and total IR luminosities provides the most robust SFR measurements, but combinations of Hα measurements with monochromatic luminosities at 24 μm and 8 μm perform nearly as well. The calibrations differ significantly from those obtained for H II regions, with the difference attributable to a more evolved population of stars heating the dust. Our results are consistent with a significant component of diffuse dust (the "IR cirrus" component) that is heated by a non-star-forming population. The same methodology can be applied to [O II]λ3727 emission-line measurements, and the radio continuum fluxes of galaxies can be applied in place of IR fluxes when the latter are not available. We assess the precision and systematic reliability of all of these composite methods.

Pages

1672-1695

Volume

703

Issue

2

Journal Title

ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL