Time stability of the ICRF2 axes⋆
Observatoire de Paris, Systèmes de Référence Temps Espace (SYRTE), CNRS, UPMC, 75014 Paris, France
Received: 19 February 2013
Accepted: 21 March 2013
Aims. I assess the astrometric stability of the 295 defining sources of the current best realization of the International Celestial Reference System (ICRS): the second realization of the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF2), constructed and published in 2009 after the analysis of millions of VLBI observations at 2 and 8 GHz between 1979.6 and 2009.2. I also assess the time evolution of the ICRF2 axis stability.
Methods. I derived coordinate time series of hundreds of quasars monitored by the regular geodetic VLBI program of the International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry (IVS). The axis stability was studied by constructing annual reference frames based on the ICRF2 defining sources. The time variable frame stability was obtained by computing the deformation parameters that lead from one frame to the next.
Results. I show that, although the astrometric stability of some of the ICRF2 defining sources has slightly degraded since 2009.2, the ensemble still constitutes a very stable reference frame. The current estimation of the axis stability over 1979.6–2013.1 remains at the same level as the one estimated over 1979.6–2009.2, i.e., on the order of 20 μas for each axis.
Key words: astrometry / reference systems / techniques: interferometric
Table 1 is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2013