National Research Council of Canada. National Science Infrastructure
We review the radio very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations of the guide star, IM Peg, and three compact extragalactic reference sources, made in support of the NASA/Stanford gyroscope relativity mission, Gravity Probe B (GP-B). The main goal of the observations was the determination of the proper motion of IM Peg relative to the distant Universe. VLBI observations made between 1997 and 2005 yield a proper motion of IM Peg of ± 0.09 mas yr-1 in α and ± 0.09 mas yr-1 in δ in a celestial reference frame of extragalactic radio galaxies and quasars virtually identical to the International Celestial Reference Frame 2 (ICRF2). They also yield a parallax for IM Peg of 10.37 ± 0.07 mas, corresponding to a distance of 96.4 ± 0.7 pc. The uncertainties are standard errors with statistical and estimated systematic contributions added in quadrature. These results met the pre-launch requirements of the GP-B mission to not discernibly degrade the estimates of the geodetic and frame-dragging effects.
Classical and Quantum Gravity32, no. 22, 224021 (17 November 2015).