Measurement of the solar system acceleration using the Earth scale factor
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2 Technische Universität Wien, Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Gusshausstrasse 27-29, 1040 Vienna, Austria
Accepted: 30 November 2017
Aim. We propose an alternative method to detect the secular aberration drift induced by the solar system acceleration due to the attraction to the Galaxy centre. This method is free of the individual radio source proper motion caused by intrinsic structure variation.
Methods. We developed a procedure to estimate the scale factor directly from very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) data analysis in a source-wise mode within a global solution. The scale factor is estimated for each reference radio source individually as a function of astrometric coordinates (right ascension and declination). This approach splits the systematic dipole effect and uncorrelated motions on the level of observational parameters.
Results. We processed VLBI observations from 1979.7 to 2016.5 to obtain the scale factor estimates for more than 4000 reference radio sources. We show that the estimates highlight a dipole systematics aligned with the direction to the centre of the Galaxy. With this method we obtained a Galactocentric acceleration vector with an amplitude of 5.2 ± 0.2 μas/yr and direction αG = 281∘± 3∘ and δG = −35∘± 3∘.
Key words: astrometry / reference systems / techniques: interferometric
© ESO 2018
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.