Astrometric observations of planetary satellites at the Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory
We present and discuss the results of the astrometry project during which we observed the satellites of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune at the Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory (Georgia) between 1983 and 1994. Observations at the Abastumani Observatory were performed with the double Zeiss astrograph (DZA: D/F = 400/3024 mm) and AZT-11 telescope (F = 16 m). We processed a large array of observations and determined exact coordinates of the planets and their satellites in a system of reference stars of modern catalogues as well as relative coordinates of the satellites. The results were compared with modern ephemerides using the MULTI-SAT software. The comparison enabled us to estimate the accuracy of observations (their random and systematic uncertainties) and the accuracy of modern theories of the motion of planets and their satellites. Random uncertainties of observations are estimated to be 0.10″-0.40″ for various objects and observational conditions. Observational results obtained for Uranus, Neptune and the satellites Titania and Oberon were shown to deviate appreciably and systematically from theories of their motion. The results of observations are presented in the Pulkovo database for Solar System bodies that is available at the website http://www.puldb.ru. © 2012 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.