Volume 438, Number 3, August II 2005
|Page(s)||1141 - 1148|
|Section||Celestial mechanics and astrometry|
|Published online||18 July 2005|
Sidereal orientation of the Earth and stability of the VLBI celestial reference frame
Observatoire de Paris/SYRTE, CNRS UMR 8630, 61 Av. de l'Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
2 Institut Géographique National/LAREG, 8 Av. Blaise Pascal, Champs-sur-Marne, 77455 Marne-la-Vallée Cedex 2, France e-mail: email@example.com
3 NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Observatoire de Paris/SYRTE, CNRS UMR 8630, France e-mail: [anne-marie.gontier;christophe.barache]@obspm.fr
Accepted: 1 February 2005
The consideration of time stability of extragalactic radio sources observed by VLBI is shown to allow the realisation of more consistent celestial reference frames. The impact on the estimation of precession and nutation components is investigated over the time span 1984–2002. The precession correction to the IAU 2000 value that is obtained when excluding the unstable sources reaches 49 ± 5 μas/year, to be compared to 12 ± 5 μas/year using the current conventional celestial frame. The determination of the obliquity rate is unaffected and remains at the level of 27 ± 2 μas/year. The observed correction to the 18.6-year nutation amplitude using the current conventional celestial frame ie sizeably corrupted by the unstable sources. After accounting for this effect, the estimations relative to both sets of reference radio sources confirm a discrepancy with the IAU 2000 nutation model with a total amplitude of 320 ± 100 μas for the observed nutation in longitude, to be compared to the 80 μas discrepancy found by Mathews et al. (2002, JGRB, 107, 1029). The discrepancy in obliquity amounts to 50 ± 16 μas. The effect of source instability is shown to have an impact on the determination of universal time at the one microsecond level. The high and medium frequency nutation terms (up to periods of a few years) are impacted only in the early years of the program. Chapter 7 concerning the observation of the core and inner core free nutations is paralleled by a twin paper (Dehant et al. 2005, A&A, 438, 1149) that proposes a theoretical development for their atmospheric and oceanic excitation.
Key words: reference systems / Earth
© ESO, 2005
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