26 February 2003 Astrophysics of reference frame tie objects
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The Astrophysics of Reference Frame Tie Objects Key Science program will investigate the underlying physics of SIM grid objects. Extragalactic objects in the SIM grid will be used to tie the SIM reference frame to the quasi-inertial reference frame defined by extragalactic objects and to remove any residual frame rotation with respect to the extragalactic frame. The current realization of the extragalactic frame is the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF). The ICRF is defined by the radio positions of 212 extragalactic objects and is the IAU sanctioned fundamental astronomical reference frame. This key project will advance our knowledge of the physics of the objects which will make up the SIM grid, such as quasars and chromospherically active stars, and relates directly to the stability of the SIM reference frame. The following questions concerning the physics of reference frame tie objects will be investigated. What is the origin of optical emission in quasars? Are the optical photo-centers of quasars compact and positionally stable on the micro-arcsecond level? Are binary black hole mergers responsible for quasars? What is (are) the emission mechanism(s) responsible for generating radio emission in chromospherically active stars. What causes the transition of spherically symmetric Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars to asymmetric planetary nebulae (PNe)?
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Kenneth J. Johnston, David Boboltz, Alan Fey, Ralph Gaume, Norbert Zacharias, "Astrophysics of reference frame tie objects", Proc. SPIE 4852, Interferometry in Space, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460935; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.460935


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