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New CCD Astrometric Observations of Himalia Using Gaia DR2 in 2015-2021

Abstract : The long arc and high-quality astrometric measurements of outer irregular satellites are prerequisites for improving their orbital theories and increasing the precision of their ephemerides. In order to obtain good astrometric positions of Himalia, the largest irregular satellite of Jupiter, we have processed and reduced 911 ground-based CCD frames obtained between 2015 and 2021 by three telescopes (including 1 and 2.4 m telescopes at Yunnan Observatory, and 0.8 m telescope at Purple Mountain Observatory) over 61 nights. Subtracting off the companion star of our target by constructing an effective point-spread function (ePSF) model in some CCD frames, the ePSF-subtracted technique is used to reduce the centering error. Some additional techniques are applied in data reduction to further improve positional accuracy and precision of Himalia. This includes geometric distortion correction, weighted polynomial plate models, and the precision-premium effect, since their relative positional measurements have better precision when two objects are very near (e.g., less than 60″). The star catalog Gaia DR2 is used for astrometric calibration, and theoretical positions of Himalia are retrieved from JPL Horizons ephemeris, including the satellite ephemeris Jup344 and the newest planetary ephemeris DE441. Our results show the mean (O - C)s (observed minus computed) of the positional residuals of Himalia are -0."004 and 0.″005 in R.A. and decl., respectively, and their corresponding standard deviations are about 0.″020 in each direction.
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Submitted on : Monday, July 11, 2022 - 7:38:56 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, August 2, 2022 - 4:32:57 AM

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Y. J. Shang, Q. Y. Peng, Z. J. Zheng, A. Vienne, B. F. Guo, et al.. New CCD Astrometric Observations of Himalia Using Gaia DR2 in 2015-2021. The Astronomical Journal, 2022, 163, ⟨10.3847/1538-3881/ac57c0⟩. ⟨insu-03718984⟩

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