The relationship between infrared, optical, and ultraviolet extinction
The parameterized extinction data of Fitzpatrick and Massa (1986, 1988) for the ultraviolet and various sources for the optical and near-infrared are used to derive a meaningful average extinction law over the 3.5 micron to 0.125 wavelength range which is applicable to both diffuse and dense regions of the interstellar medium. The law depends on only one parameter R(V) = A(V)/E(B-V). An analytic formula is given for the mean extinction law which can be used to calculate color excesses or to deredden observations. The validity of the law over a large wavelength interval suggests that the processes which modify the sizes and compositions of grains are stochastic in nature and very efficient. 49 refs.