(Amôres & Lépine, 2005, AJ, 130, 679; 2007, AJ, 133, 1519)


We present two models for the interstellar extinction in the Galaxy, that are based on the hypothesis that the interstellar dust is well mixed with the gas, with a constant ratio (except for a small dependence of metallicity on the galactic radius), and therefore, the extinction is proportional to the column density of the gas. In a first model, we assume that the Galaxy is axis-symmetric; the gas density in the disk is a function of the galactic radius and of the distance perpendicular to the galactic plane, and the extinction is proportional to the column density of the gas. In the second model, we take into account the spiral structure of the Galaxy. In this case, instead of increasing almost linearly with distance, the extinction increases by steps each time a spiral arm is crossed, but only increases slowly in the inter-arms regions. The gas density distribution is obtained from the Berkeley and Parkes HI surveys, and from the Columbia University CO survey. The IRAS 100 microns brightness distribution is  also used as a tracer of the interstellar dust column density. The predictions of the models are compared with data taken from a number of catalogs that present color excess and distances for large samples of stars. Our models are useful to estimate distances of objects, color corrections for objects for which the distance can be estimated by some other method, and for star-counts and brightness models of the Galaxy, among other applications.


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