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The Star Formation Reference Survey

Astronomers study star formation as a way of understanding our own origins, as well as the structure of galaxies and the evolution of the cosmos as a whole. However, the farther back in time, astronomers often rely on a single measurement type for each galaxy to measure star-formation rates. The Star Formation Reference Survey (SFRS) is designed to improve and assess the reliability of all of these measurements by cataloging nearby star formation, using NASA’s Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope and other observatories. The data produced provides a useful reference data across a wide range of wavelengths in the spectrum of light, which can be applied across surveys of star formation in close-by and distant galaxies. The SFRS observational effort is led by astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, in collaboration with other researchers around the world.