Volume 570, October 2014
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Catalogs and data|
|Published online||23 October 2014|
Pluto: improved astrometry from 19 years of observations ⋆,⋆⋆,⋆⋆⋆
Observatório Nacional/MCT, R. General José Cristino 77, CEP, 20921-400
Rio de Janeiro -, RJ, Brazil
2 Observatório do Valongo/UFRJ, Ladeira Pedro Antonio 43, CEP 20.080-090 Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil
Accepted: 28 July 2014
Context. We present astrometric positions of Pluto, consistent with the International Celestial Reference System, from 4412 CCD frames observed over 120 nights with three telescopes at the Observatório do Pico dos Dias in Brazil, covering a time span from 1995 to 2013, and also 145 frames observed over 11 nights in 2007 and 2009 with the ESO/MPG 2.2m telescope equipped with the Wide Field Imager (WFI).
Aims. Our aim is to contribute to the study and improvement of the orbit of Pluto with new astrometric methods and positions.
Methods. All astrometric positions of Pluto were reduced with the Platform for Reduction of Astronomical Images Automatically (PRAIA), using the USNO CCD Astrograph Catalogue 4 (UCAC4) as the reference catalog. We also used the planetary ephemeris DE421+plu021 for comparisons. The positions were corrected for differential chromatic refraction. The (x, y) center of Pluto was determined from corrections to the measured photocenter, which was contaminated by Charon. The corrections were obtained with an original procedure based on analytical expressions derived from a two-dimensional Gaussian function i.e. the point spread function PSF fitted to the images to derive the (x, y) measurements.
Results. We obtained mean values of 4 mas and 37 mas for right ascension and declination, and standard deviations of σα = 45 mas and σδ = 49 mas, for the offsets in the sense observed minus ephemeris position, after the corrections. We confirm the presence of a linear drift in the ephemeris declinations from 2005 on, also obtained from stellar occultations.
Conclusions. We present astrometric positions of Pluto for 19 years of observations in Brazil. The positions, corrected for differential chromatic refraction and Pluto/Charon photocenter effects, presented the same behavior as obtained from stellar occultations, with a drift in declinations of about 100 mas since 2005. The results indicate that the DE421 Pluto ephemeris used in this work need to be corrected.
Key words: planets and satellites: individual: Pluto / atmospheric effects / methods: data analysis / methods: analytical / methods: numerical / astrometry
Full Table 4 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/570/A86
Partially based on observations through the ESO runs 079.A-9202(A), 075.C-0154, 077.C-0283, and 079.C-0345.
© ESO, 2014
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