There so is much confusion in the literature concerning the definition of starbursts (e.g. Weedman, 1987) that, at the risk of confusing things even more, I will introduce here a new definition. I will call starbursts objects, or parts thereof, that have extremely large local star formation rates (i.e. the star formation rate per unit area).The global SFRs of starbursts are on the average similar to those of “normal” star formation regions (i.e. 1–100 M ☉ yr -1) but the local SFRs of starbursts are 106 to 108 times larger than those of typical spiral galaxies (of course there are extreme objects, ARP 220 for example, where the global SFRs are very large but, even among starbursts, objects like this are rare). The term violent star formation is often used in the literature to characterize “bursting” processes. Thus, starbursts are also referred to as Violent Star Formation Regions (VSFRs).
KeywordsStar Formation Massive Star Star Formation Rate Oxygen Abundance Seyfert Galaxy
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