A new astrometric measurement and reduction of USNO photographic observations of Phobos and Deimos: 1967–1997⋆
1 Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Avancées IPSA, 11–15 rue Maurice Grandcoing, 94200 Ivry-sur-Seine, France
2 Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Éphémérides IMCCE, Paris observatory, UPMC, Univ. Lille 1, CNRS, 77 Av. Denfert-Rochereau, 75014 Paris, France
3 United States Naval Observatory USNO, 3458 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20392, USA
4 Technische Universität Berlin TUB, Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science, Strasse des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
5 Royal Observatory of Belgium ROB, avenue Circulaire 3, 1180 Uccle, Belgique
Received: 16 July 2015
Accepted: 9 August 2015
Context. Accurate positional measurements of planets and satellites are used to improve our knowledge of both their orbits and their dynamics and to infer the accuracy of the planet and satellite ephemerides.
Aims. In the framework of the European FP7 ESPaCE program, we provide the positions of Mars, Phobos, and Deimos taken with the US Naval Observatory 61-inch astrometric reflector and 26-inch refractor from 1967 to 1997.
Methods. Four hundred twenty five astrophotographic plates were measured with the digitizer of the Royal Observatory of Belgium and reduced through an optimal process that includes image, instrumental, and spherical corrections using the UCAC4 catalog to provide the most accurate equatorial (RA, Dec) positions.
Results. We compared the observed positions of the planet Mars and its satellites with the theoretical positions from INPOP13c and DE430 planetary ephemerides and from NOE MarsSatV1_0 and MAR097 satellite ephemerides. The rms residuals in RA and Dec of one position are less than 62 mas or about 20 km at the opposition of Mars. The rms intersatellite residuals in RA and Dec of one position are less than 40 mas or about 13 km at Mars. This accuracy is comparable to the most recent CCD observations. We also fitted the NOE model to the new computed positions and compared the orbital evolution of Phobos and Deimos with those derived from the same model, but only fitted to spacecraft data. Our results show that astrophotographic plate data can now compete with those of old spacecraft.
Key words: astrometry / ephemerides / planets and satellites: individual: Phobos / planets and satellites: individual: Deimos
Full Table 2 and Tables of the XY positions of the satellites and their references are available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/582/A36, and at the Natural Satellites Data Center service of IMCCE via http://www.imcce.fr/nsdc/
© ESO, 2015