Modeling Infrared Star Counts

by William Frederick Golisch, III

ABSTRACT

Several models for the galactic distribution of stars and obscuring dust are compared with published star count and surface brightness observations at 2 microns. A revised galactic model is proposed which incorporates current best estimates of the local number densities and absolute magnitudes of stars of different spectral types. The revised model accurately reproduces the observed stellar luminosity functions over a wide range in apparent magnitude along individual lines of sight as well as the overall galactic distribution of infrared sources from the Two-Micron Sky Survey.