Precession of Mercury’s Perihelion from Ranging to the MESSENGER Spacecraft

  title={Precession of Mercury’s Perihelion from Ranging to the MESSENGER Spacecraft},
  author={Ryan S. Park and William M. Folkner and Alex S. Konopliv and James G. Williams and David E. Smith and Maria T. Zuber},
  journal={The Astronomical Journal},
The perihelion of Mercury’s orbit precesses due to perturbations from other solar system bodies, solar quadrupole moment (J2), and relativistic gravitational effects that are proportional to linear combinations of the parametrized post-Newtonian parameters β and γ. The orbits and masses of the solar system bodies are quite well known, and thus the uncertainty in recovering the precession rate of Mercury’s perihelion is dominated by the uncertainties in the parameters J2, β, and γ. Separating… 

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