Journal Article

3D extinction mapping using hierarchical Bayesian models

S. E. Sale

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 427, issue 3, pages 2119-2131
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
3D extinction mapping using hierarchical Bayesian models

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The Galaxy and the stars in it form a hierarchical system, such that the properties of individual stars are influenced by those of the Galaxy. Here, an approach is described which uses hierarchical Bayesian models to simultaneously and empirically determine the mean distance–extinction relationship for a sightline and the properties of stars which populate it. By exploiting the hierarchical nature of the problem, the method described is able to achieve significantly improved precision and accuracy with respect to previous 3D extinction mapping techniques. This method is not tied to any individual survey and could be applied to any observations or combination of observations available. Furthermore, it is extendible and, in addition, could be employed to study Galactic structure as well as factors such as the initial mass function and star formation history in the Galaxy.

Keywords: methods: data analysis; surveys; ISM: structure; Galaxy: disc; Galaxy: structure

Journal Article.  9946 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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