Different wavelength regimes and methods for estimating the space density of the star formation rate (SFR) result in discrepant values. While it is recognized that ultraviolet (UV) and Hα emission-line data must be corrected for the effects of extinction, the magnitude of the required correction is uncertain. Even when these corrections are made there remains a significant discrepancy between SFRs derived from UV and Hα measurements compared with those derived from far-infrared (FIR) and radio luminosities. Since the FIR-radio-derived SFRs are not affected by extinction and simple corrections to reconcile the UV and Hα measurement with these do not fully account for the discrepancies, a more sophisticated correction may be required. Recent results suggest that at least part of the solution may be a form of extinction that increases with increasing SFR (or luminosity, given the common assumption that SFR is proportional to luminosity). We present an analysis of the effects of a dust reddening dependent on star formation rate applied to estimators of SFR. We show (1) that the discrepancies between Hα and FIR-radio SFR estimates may be explained by such an effect and we present an iterative method for applying the correction and (2) that UV-based estimates of SFR are harder to reconcile with FIR-radio estimates using this method, although the extent of the remaining discrepancy is less than for a non-SFR-dependent correction. Particularly at high redshift, our understanding of extinction at UV wavelengths may require a still more complex explanation.
- Galaxies: evolution
- Galaxies: starburst