Accurate optical positions of extragalactic radio reference frame sources.
ZACHARIAS N., ZACHARIAS M.I., HALL D.M., JOHNSTON K.J., DE VEGT C. and WINTER L.
Abstract (from CDS):
Optical positions on the 50 mas level in the Hipparcos system have been obtained for 327 extragalactic, radio reference frame sources for both hemispheres from a 2-step procedure. Positions of secondary reference stars in the 10≤V≤14 magnitude range were obtained from photographic plates taken at the Hamburg astrograph (Northern Hemisphere) and the US Naval Observatory astrograph at Black Birch (Southern Hemisphere) using Hipparcos stars for astrometric plate solutions. Positions of the optical counterparts of compact, extragalactic, radio reference frame sources were then obtained from CCD direct imaging at the KPNO and CTIO 0.9 m telescopes, using the secondary reference star positions and correcting for field distortions. Several previously unknown counterparts could be identified, and several previously suspected identifications turned out to be empty fields. CCD images are available on the World Wide Web to serve as finding charts. A comparison between the optical and radio positions reveals systematic offsets of 10 to 40 mas per coordinate as a function of the observing run. Corrections for Galactic rotation and solar motion have been attempted because of a lack of individual proper motions for the secondary reference stars. Neither 0.9 m telescope is an astrometric instrument, and limitations are clearly seen in remaining systematic errors. Orientation angles between the radio system and our optical data are zero within an accuracy of 4 mas (standard error). A significant reduction of the systematic errors will be achieved with new wide-field CCD imaging currently been taken in parallel to new 0.9 m observations, to provide more secondary reference star positions with higher precision at a common epoch, which will allow extended modeling of the mapping properties of 0.9 m observations.
Astrometry - Catalogs - Reference Systems - Galaxies: Quasars: General