The power of simultaneous multifrequency observations for mm-VLBI: Astrometry up to 130 GHz with the KVN

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    Abstract

    © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.. Simultaneous observations at multiple frequency bands have the potential to overcome the fundamental limitation imposed by the atmospheric propagation in (sub)millimeter very long baseline interferometry (mm-VLBI) observations. The propagation effects place a severe limit on the sensitivity achievable in mm-VLBI, reducing the time over which the signals can be coherently combined, and preventing the use of phase referencing and astrometric measurements. We carried out simultaneous observations at 22, 43, 87, and 130 GHz of a group of five active galactic nuclei, the weakest of which is ∼200 mJy at 130 GHz, with angular separations ranging from 3.°6 to 11°, using the Korean VLBI Network. We analyzed these data using the frequency phase transfer (FPT) and the source frequency phase referencing (SFPR) techniques, which use the observations at a lower frequency to correct those at a higher frequency. The results of the analysis provide an empirical demonstration of the increase in the coherence times at 130 GHz from a few tens of seconds to about 20 minutes, with FPT, and up to many hours with SFPR. Moreover, the astrometric analysis provides high-precision relative position measurements between two frequencies, including, for the first time, astrometry at 130 GHz. Finally, we demonstrate a method for the generalized decomposition of the relative position measurements into absolute position shifts for bona fide astrometric registration of the maps of the individual sources at multiple frequencies, up to 130 GHz.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    JournalAstronomical Journal
    Volume150
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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