Astron. J., 139, 1713-1770 (2010/May-0)
The Celestial Reference Frame at 24 and 43 GHz. II. Imaging.
CHARLOT P., BOBOLTZ D.A., FEY A.L., FOMALONT E.B., GELDZAHLER B.J., GORDON D., JACOBS C.S., LANYI G.E., MA C., NAUDET C.J., ROMNEY J.D., SOVERS O.J. and ZHANG L.D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have measured the submilliarcsecond structure of 274 extragalactic sources at 24 and 43 GHz in order to assess their astrometric suitability for use in a high-frequency celestial reference frame (CRF). Ten sessions of observations with the Very Long Baseline Array have been conducted over the course of ∼5 years, with a total of 1339 images produced for the 274 sources. There are several quantities that can be used to characterize the impact of intrinsic source structure on astrometric observations including the source flux density, the flux density variability, the source structure index, the source compactness, and the compactness variability. A detailed analysis of these imaging quantities shows that (1) our selection of compact sources from 8.4 GHz catalogs yielded sources with flux densities, averaged over the sessions in which each source was observed, of about 1 Jy at both 24 and 43 GHz, (2) on average the source flux densities at 24 GHz varied by 20%-25% relative to their mean values, with variations in the session-to-session flux density scale being less than 10%, (3) sources were found to be more compact with less intrinsic structure at higher frequencies, and (4) variations of the core radio emission relative to the total flux density of the source are less than 8% on average at 24 GHz. We conclude that the reduction in the effects due to source structure gained by observing at higher frequencies will result in an improved CRF and a pool of high-quality fiducial reference points for use in spacecraft navigation over the next decade.
astrometry - quasars: general - radio continuum: galaxies - surveys
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<Available at CDS (J/AJ/139/1713): table2.dat table3.dat table4.dat>
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