A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Andrés Ruiz
Date: 2011 Jun 14, 11:12 +0200
The FK6 is a suitable combination of the results of the HIPPARCOS astrometry satellite with ground-based data, measured over more than two centuries and summarized in the FK5. Part I of the FK6 (abbreviated FK6(I)) contains 878 basic fundamental stars with direct solutions. Such direct solutions are appropriate for single stars or for objects which can be treated like single stars.
From the 878 stars in Part I, we have selected 340 objects as 'astrometrically excellent stars', since their instantaneous proper motions and mean (time-averaged) ones do not differ significantly. Hence most of the astrometrically excellent stars are well-behaving 'single-star candidates' with good astrometric data. These stars are most suited for high-precision astrometry. On the other hand, 199 of the stars in Part I are Delta-mu binaries in the sense of Wielen et al. (1999, Astron. Astrophys. 346, 675). Many of them are newly discovered probable binaries with no other hitherto known indication of binarity.
The FK6 gives, besides the classical 'single-star mode' solutions (SI mode), other solutions which take into account the fact that hidden astrometric binaries among 'apparently single-stars' introduce sizable 'cosmic errors' into the quasi-instantaneously measured HIPPARCOS proper motions and positions. The FK6 gives in addition to the SI mode the `long-term prediction (LTP) mode' and the `short-term prediction (STP) mode'. These LTP and STP modes are on average the most precise solutions for apparently single stars, depending on the epoch difference with respect to the HIPPARCOS epoch of about 1991.
The typical mean error of an FK6(I) proper motion in the single-star mode is 0.35 mas/year. This is about a factor of two better than the typical HIPPARCOS errors for these stars of 0.67 mas/year. In the long-term prediction mode, in which cosmic errors are taken into account, the FK6(I) proper motions have a typical mean error of 0.50 mas/year, which is by a factor of more than 4 better than the corresponding error for the HIPPARCOS values of 2.21 mas/year (cosmic errors included).