Completing the K-band Celestial Reference Frame in the Southern Hemisphere

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Citation of Original Publication

de Witt, A.; Bertarini, A.; Horiuchi, S.; Jacobs, C.S.; Jung, T.; Lovell, J.E.J.; McCallum, J.N.; Quick, J.F.H.; Sohn, B.W.; Phillips, C.; Ojha, R.; Completing the K-band Celestial Reference Frame in the Southern Hemisphere;


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K-band (22 GHz) radio observations have the potential to form the basis for the most accurate Celestial Reference Frame(CRF) ever constructed. Relative to the standard S/X (2.3/8.4 GHz) observing bands, K-band is expected to exhibit a reduction in extended source morphology and core-shift. This reduction in astrophysical systematics should allow for a more stable CRF at K-band and should also be advantageous in tying the VLBI radio frame to the Gaia optical frame. K-band CRF observations currently exist only from the all-northern Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and therefore must be complimented by observations from southern arrays in order to realize this potential. A collaboration was formed with the goal of completing sky coverage at K-band with specific emphasis on the Southern Hemisphere where K-band CRF coverage is weak. Southern hemisphere observations to densify the CRF at K-band are under way and preliminary astrometric observations were carried out on 23 August 2013 between telescopes in Australia (Hobart 26m), Korea (Tamna 21m), and South Africa (HartRAO 26m). More extensive astrometric observations were carried out on 21/22 December 2013 that also included the Tidbinbilla 70-m DSN antenna in Australia. A proposal for imaging source structure at K-band has been submitted to the Australian Telescope-Long Baseline Array (AT-LBA). We discuss some of our results as well as the implications for K-band CRF work.