Testing 24 micron and Infrared Luminosity as Star Formation Tracers for Galactic Star Forming Regions


We have tested some relations for star formation rates used in extra-galactic studies for regions within the Galaxy. In nearby molecular clouds, where the IMF is not fully-sampled, the dust emission at 24 micron greatly underestimates star formation rates (by a factor of 100 on average) when compared to star formation rates determined from counting YSOs. The total infrared emission does no better. In contrast, the total far-infrared method agrees within a factor of 2 on average with star formation rates based on radio continuum emission for massive, dense clumps that are forming enough massive stars to have the total infrared luminosity exceed 10^4.5 Lsun. The total infrared and 24 micron also agree well with each other for both nearby, low-mass star forming regions and the massive, dense clumps regions

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