Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 466, 1567-1574 (2017/April-1)
Test of source selection for constructing a more stable and uniform celestial reference frame.
LIU N., LIU J.-C. and ZHU Z.
Abstract (from CDS):
We aim to evaluate the possibility of improving the International Celestial Reference System realization starting from the ICRF2 catalogue by investigating the coordinate time series of radio sources observed by the very long baseline interferometry between 1979 and 2016. Sources with long observational history are selected as the candidates and the least-squares fits with special handling of the weights are performed to derive the linear drifts of the source coordinates. Then the sources are sorted, based on the normalized linear drift (i) over the whole sky, and (ii) in four homolographic areas divided by declinations. The axial stability of the reference system and sky distribution defined by the selected sources are evaluated, which are acted as the criterion for the final source lists. With our improved source selection scheme, two groups of sources are proposed and considered suitable for defining a more stable and homogeneous celestial reference system compared to the second version of the current International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF2). The number of sources in the final lists are 323 and 294, respectively, and the global rotations of the axes derived from apparent motion of the sources are about two times better than the ICRF2.