Measurement of the parallax of PSR B0950+08 using the VLBA

Walter F. Brisken, John M. Benson, A. J. Beasley, Edward B. Fomalont, W. M. Goss, S. E. Thorsett

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A new technique has been developed to remove the ionosphere's distorting effects from low-frequency VLBI data. By fitting dispersive and nondispersive components to the phases of multifrequency data, the ionosphere can be effectively removed from the data without the use of a priori calibration information. This technique, along with the new gating capability of the VLBA correlator, was used to perform accurate astrometry on pulsar B0950+08, resulting in a much improved measurement of this pulsar's proper motion (μα = -1.6 ± 0.4 mas yr-1, μδ = 29.5 ± 0.5 mas yr-1) and parallax (π = 3.6 ± 0.3 mas). This puts the pulsar at a distance of 280 ± 25 pc, about twice as far as previous estimates, but in good agreement with models of the electron density in the Local Bubble.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-962
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2000


  • Astrometry
  • Techniques: interferometric


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