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The star formation rate distribution function of the local Universe

Bothwell, M. S. and Kenicutt, R. C. and Johnson, B. D. and Wu, Y. and Lee, J. C. and Dale, D. and Engelbracht, C. and Calzetti, D. and Skillman, E. (2011) The star formation rate distribution function of the local Universe. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 415 (2). pp. 1815-1826. ISSN 0035-8711.

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We present total infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) luminosity functions derived from large representative samples of galaxies at z ~ 0, selected at IR and UV wavelengths from the Imperial IRAS Faint Source Catalogue redshift data base (IIFSCz) catalogue, and the GALEX All-Sky Imaging Survey (AIS), respectively. We augment these with deep Spitzer and GALEX imaging of galaxies in the 11 Mpc Local Volume Legacy (LVL) Survey, allowing us to extend these luminosity functions to lower luminosities (~10^6 L_⊙), and providing good constraints on the slope of the luminosity function at the extreme faint end for the first time. Using conventional star formation prescriptions, we generate from our data the star formation rate (SFR) distribution function for the local Universe. We find that it has a Schechter form, the faint-end slope has a constant value (to the limits of our data) of α=−1.51 ± 0.08 and the 'characteristic' SFR ψ^* is 9.2 M_⊙ yr^(−1). We also show the distribution function of the SFR volume density; we then use this to calculate a value for the total SFR volume density at z ~ 0 of 0.025 ± 0.0016 M_⊙ yr^(−1) Mpc^(−3), of which ~20 per cent is occurring in starbursts. Decomposing the total star formation by infrared luminosity, it can be seen that 9 ± 1 per cent is due to LIRGs, and 0.7 ± 0.2 per cent is occurring in ULIRGs. By comparing UV and IR emission for galaxies in our sample, we also calculate the fraction of star formation occurring in dust-obscured environments, and examine the distribution of dusty star formation: we find a very shallow slope at the highly extincted end, which may be attributable to line-of-sight orientation effects as well as conventional internal extinction.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kenicutt, R. C.0000-0001-5448-1821
Lee, J. C.0000-0002-2278-9407
Dale, D.0000-0002-5782-9093
Calzetti, D.0000-0002-5189-8004
Additional Information:© 2011 The Authors. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS. Accepted 2011 March 29. Received 2011 March 28; in original form 2010 November 9. Article first published online: 7 Jun. 2011. We would like to thank Matt Malkan for helpful and enlightening discussions. This research has made use of the NED which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We acknowledge the usage of the HyperLeda data base ( MB is supported by STFC.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution; galaxies: luminosity function, mass function; galaxies: star formation; cosmology: observations
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110830-093121459
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Official Citation:The star formation rate distribution function of the local Universe M. S. Bothwell1,*, R. C. Kenicutt1, B. D. Johnson1, Y. Wu2, J. C. Lee3, D. Dale4, C. Engelbracht5, D. Calzetti6, E. Skillman7 Article first published online: 7 JUN 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18829.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:25160
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:30 Aug 2011 16:55
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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