VLBI for Gravity Probe B. V. Proper Motion and Parallax of the Guide StarR, IM Pegasi

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VLBI for Gravity Probe B. V. Proper Motion and Parallax of the Guide StarR, IM Pegasi

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Title: VLBI for Gravity Probe B. V. Proper Motion and Parallax of the Guide StarR, IM Pegasi
Author: Ratner, M. I.; Bartel, N.; Bietenholz, M. F.; Lebach, D. E.; Lestrade, J.-F.; Ransom, R. R.; Shapiro, Irwin Ira

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Citation: Ratner, M. I., N. Bartel, M. F. Bietenholz, D. E. Lebach, J.-F. Lestrade, R. R. Ransom, and I. I. Shapiro. 2012. “VLBI for Gravity Probe B. V. Proper Motion and Parallax of the Guide StarR, IM Pegasi.” The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 201, no. 1: 1-16.
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Abstract: We present the principal astrometric results of the very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) program undertaken in support of the Gravity Probe B (GP-B) relativity mission. VLBI observations of the GP-B guide star, the RS CVn binary IM Pegasi (HR 8703), yielded positions at 35 epochs between 1997 and 2005. We discuss the statistical assumptions behind these results and our methods for estimating the systematic errors. We find the proper motion of IM Peg in an extragalactic reference frame closely related to the International Celestial Reference Frame 2 (ICRF2) to be –20.83 ± 0.03 ± 0.09 mas yr–1 in right ascension and –27.27 ± 0.03 ± 0.09 mas yr–1 in declination. For each component, the first uncertainty is the statistical standard error and the second is the total standard error (SE) including plausible systematic errors. We also obtain a parallax of 10.37 ± 0.07 mas (distance: 96.4 ± 0.7 pc), for which there is no evidence of any significant contribution of systematic error. Our parameter estimates for the ~25 day period orbital motion of the stellar radio emission have SEs corresponding to ~0.10 mas on the sky in each coordinate. The total SE of our estimate of IM Peg's proper motion is ~30% smaller than the accuracy goal set by the GP-B project before launch: 0.14 mas yr–1 for each coordinate of IM Peg's proper motion. Our results ensure that the uncertainty in IM Peg's proper motion makes only a very small contribution to the uncertainty of the GP-B relativity tests.
Published Version: doi:10.1088/0067-0049/201/1/5
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11858831
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