Towards an accurate alignment of the VLBI frame and the future Gaia optical frame - VLBI observations of weak extragalactic radio sources: status and future plans

G. Bourda 1 A. Collioud 1 P. Charlot 1 R. Porcas 2 S. Garrington 3
1 M2A 2012
L3AB - Laboratoire d'astrodynamique, d'astrophysique et d'aéronomie de bordeaux, OASU - Observatoire aquitain des sciences de l'univers, LAB - Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux [Pessac], Université Sciences et Technologies - Bordeaux 1
Abstract : The space astrometry mission Gaia will construct a dense optical QSO-based celestial reference frame. For consistency between optical and radio positions, it will be important to align the Gaia and VLBI frames with the highest accuracy. However, the number of quasars that are bright in optical wavelength (for the best position with Gaia), that have a compact core (to be detectable on VLBI scales), and that do not exhibit complex structures (to ensure a good astrometric quality), is currently rather limited. It was hence realized that the densification of the list of such objects was necessary. Accordingly, we initiated a multi-step VLBI observational project, dedicated to finding additional suitable radio sources for aligning the two frames. The sample consists of ˜450 optically-bright weak extragalactic radio sources, which have been selected by cross-correlating optical and radio catalogs. The initial observations, aimed at checking whether these sources are detectable with VLBI, and conducted with the European VLBI Network (EVN) in 2007, showed an excellent ˜90% detection rate. The second step, dedicated to extract the most point-like sources of the sample, by imaging their VLBI structures, was initiated in 2008. About 25% of the detected targets were observed with the Global VLBI array (EVN+VLBA; Very Long Baseline Array) during a pilot imaging experiment, revealing ˜50% of them as point-like sources on VLBI scales. The rest of the sources were observed during 3 imaging experiments in March 2010, November 2010 and March 2011. In this paper, we give an overview of the project.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00811491
Contributeur : Marie-Paule Pomies <>
Soumis le : mercredi 10 avril 2013 - 14:25:06
Dernière modification le : lundi 13 octobre 2014 - 15:43:25

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G. Bourda, A. Collioud, P. Charlot, R. Porcas, S. Garrington. Towards an accurate alignment of the VLBI frame and the future Gaia optical frame - VLBI observations of weak extragalactic radio sources: status and future plans. Memorie della Societa astronomica italiana, 2012, 83, pp.966. <hal-00811491>

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