The [O II] λ3727 luminosity function of the local universe

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The measurement of the star formation rate density of the universe is of prime importance in understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies. The [O ii] λ3727 emission-line flux, easy to measure up to z ≈ 1.4 within deep redshift surveys in the optical and up to in the near-infrared, offers a reliable means of z ≈ 5.4 characterizing the star formation properties of high-z objects. In order to provide the high-z studies with a local reference, we have measured total [O ii] λ3727 fluxes for the well-analyzed local sample of star-forming galaxies from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid Survey. These data are used to derive the [O ii] λ3727 luminosity function for local star-forming galaxies. When compared with similar luminosity densities published for redshift up to, the overall evolution already observed in the star formation activity of the universe is confirmed.
© 2002 The American Astronomical Society. Valuable discussions with A. Alonso-Herrero, P. G. Pérez-González, and S. Pascual are gratefully acknowledged. We would also like to thank the anonymous referee for his/her useful suggestions that improved this Letter. This work was supported in part by the Spanish Plan Nacional de Astronomía y Astrofísica under grant AYA2000-1790.
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