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A Three-dimensional Map of Milky Way Dust

Green, G.M.; Schlafly, E.F.; Finkbeiner, D.P.; Rix, H.-W.; Martin, N.; Burgett, W.; Draper, P.W.; Flewelling, H.; Hodapp, K.; Kaiser, N.; Kudritzki, R.P.; Magnier, E.; Metcalfe, N.; Price, P.; Tonry, J.; Wainscoat, R.

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G.M. Green

E.F. Schlafly

D.P. Finkbeiner

H.-W. Rix

N. Martin

W. Burgett

P.W. Draper

H. Flewelling

K. Hodapp

N. Kaiser

R.P. Kudritzki

E. Magnier

P. Price

J. Tonry

R. Wainscoat


We present a three-dimensional map of interstellar dust reddening, covering three-quarters of the sky out to a distance of several kiloparsecs, based on Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1) and 2MASS photometry. The map reveals a wealth of detailed structure, from filaments to large cloud complexes. The map has a hybrid angular resolution, with most of the map at an angular resolution of 3.4¢ –13.7¢ , and a maximum distance resolution of ~25%. The three-dimensional distribution of dust is determined in a fully probabilistic framework, yielding the uncertainty in the reddening distribution along each line of sight, as well as stellar distances, reddenings, and classifications for 800 million stars detected by PS1. We demonstrate the consistency of our reddening estimates with those of two-dimensional emission-based maps of dust reddening. In particular, we find agreement with the Planck t353GHz -based reddening map to within 0.05 mag in E ( ) B V - to a depth of 0.5 mag, and explore systematics at reddenings less than E ( ) B V - » 0.08 mag. We validate our per-star reddening estimates by comparison with reddening estimates for stars with both Sloan Digital Sky Survey photometry and Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration spectral classifications, finding per-star agreement to within 0.1 mag out to a stellar E ( ) B V - of 1 mag. We compare our map to two existing three-dimensional dust maps, by Marshall et al. and Lallement et al., demonstrating our finer angular resolution, and better distance resolution compared to the former within ~3 kpc. The map can be queried or downloaded at We expect the three-dimensional reddening map presented here to find a wide range of uses, among them correcting for reddening and extinction for objects embedded in the plane of the Galaxy, studies of Galactic structure, calibration of future emission-based dust maps, and determining distances to objects of known reddening.


Green, G., Schlafly, E., Finkbeiner, D., Rix, H., Martin, N., Burgett, W., …Wainscoat, R. (2015). A Three-dimensional Map of Milky Way Dust. Astrophysical Journal, 810(1), Article 25.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 2, 2015
Online Publication Date Aug 26, 2015
Publication Date Sep 1, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 10, 2016
Publicly Available Date Apr 20, 2016
Journal Astrophysical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Electronic ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 810
Issue 1
Article Number 25


Published Journal Article (6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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