AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 131 Galactic Astronomy in the SDSS
Poster, Wednesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 11, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[131.01] Dissecting the Milky Way with SDSS - III: The properties of interstellar dust

J.M. Meyer, Z. Ivezic (University of Washington), D.P. Finkbeiner (Princeton University), D.J. Schlegel (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), K.R. Covey, A. Seth (University of Washington), M. Juric, R.H. Lupton (Princeton University), C.M. Rockosi (Univeristy of California - Santa Cruz), G.R. Knapp, J.E. Gunn (Princeton University)

We use the distribution of 1.7 million point sources detected by both SDSS and 2MASS in the 7-dimensional color-color space to study the effects of interstellar extinction. This method provides constraints on both the amount of extinction and its wavelength dependence, and thus allows us to independently test the accuracy of the Schlegel, Finkbeiner and Davis (1998, SFD) maps, and the conversion coefficients used to generate extinction corrections in the five SDSS bands. While we find a few regions on the sky where the SFD maps probably overestimate extinction by 10%, the discrepancies are below our sensitivity limit of 5% for most of the sky observed by SDSS. We find that the published SDSS conversion coefficients for computing extinction from the SFD maps need to be adjusted by a few percent due to the slightly incorrect filter transmission curves that were used to compute these coefficients prior to the beginning of the SDSS. The corrected values constrain the slope of the extinction curve to RV = 3.05+-0.05, with less than 0.05 variation over the analyzed sky regions.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: jillian@astro.washington.edu

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