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… 

The Influence of Dynamic Solar Oblateness on Tracking Data Analysis from Past and Future Mercury Missions

When the BepiColombo spacecraft arrives at Mercury in late 2025, it will be able to measure the orbit of the planet with unprecedented accuracy, allowing for more accurate measurements of the

Comparative study of Mercuryś perihelion advance

  • S. Pogossian
  • Geology, Physics
    Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy
  • 2022
Mercury’s motion using numerical methods in the framework of a model including only the non-relativistic Newtonian gravitational interactions of the solar system: 9 planets in translation (including

Comparative study of Mercury’s perihelion advance

  • S. Pogossian
  • Geology, Physics
    Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy
  • 2022
Mercury’s motion has been studied using numerical methods in the framework of a model including only the non-relativistic Newtonian gravitational interactions of the solar system: eight major planets

New General Relativistic Contribution to Mercury's Perihelion Advance.

  • C. Will
  • Physics, Geology
    Physical review letters
  • 2018
A new general relativistic contribution to the perihelion advance of Mercury is pointed out that, while smaller than the contributions arising from the solar quadrupole moment and angular momentum, is 100 times larger than the second-post-Newtonian contribution.

Solar system expansion and strong equivalence principle as seen by the NASA MESSENGER mission

The MESSENGER data collected over 7 years are used to estimate parameters related to general relativity and the evolution of the Sun to confirm the validity of the strong equivalence principle and confirm the Nordtvedt parameter.

Diffusion Gravity (5): Perihelion Precessions as Indicators of Galactic Gravity

Diffusion Gravity theory has shown in previous works that the constant velocity profiles of galaxies may be a direct result of equipotential “locking” of stars to the zero-potential balance point

Calculation of the Uncertainties in the Planetary Precessions with the Recent EPM2017 Ephemerides and their Use in Fundamental Physics and Beyond

  • L. Iorio
  • Physics, Geology
    The Astronomical Journal
  • 2019
I tentatively compile the formal uncertainties in the secular rates of change of the orbital elements a, e, I, Ω, and ϖ of the planets of the solar system from the recently released formal errors in



Helioseismic determination of the solar gravitational quadrupole moment

One of the most well-known tests of General Relativity (GR) results from combining measurements of the anomalous precession of the orbit of Mercury with a determination of the gravitational

Gravity Field and Internal Structure of Mercury from MESSENGER

The results point to an interior structure that differs from those of the other terrestrial planets: the density of the planet's solid outer shell suggests the existence of a deep reservoir of high-density material, possibly an Fe-S layer.

Is it possible to measure the Lense-Thirring effect on the orbits of the planets in the gravitational field of the Sun?

In this paper we explore a novel approach to try to measure the post-Newtonian 1/c 2 Lense-Thirring secular effect induced by the gravitomagnetic field of the Sun on planetary orbital motion. Due to

Effects of standard and modified gravity on interplanetary ranges

We numerically investigate the impact on the two-body range of several Newtonian and non-Newtonian dynamical effects for some Earth-planet (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) pairs, in view of

A confirmation of the general relativistic prediction of the Lense–Thirring effect

A measurement of the Lense–Thirring effect on two Earth satellites is reported: it is 99 ± 5 per cent of the value predicted by general relativity; the uncertainty of this measurement includes all known random and systematic errors, but the total ± 10 per cent uncertainty is allowed to include underestimated and unknown sources of error.

The gravity field, orientation, and ephemeris of Mercury from MESSENGER observations after three years in orbit

We have analyzed 3 years of radio tracking data from the MESSENGER spacecraft in orbit around Mercury and determined the gravity field, planetary orientation, and ephemeris of the innermost planet.

A test of general relativity using radio links with the Cassini spacecraft

A measurement of the frequency shift of radio photons to and from the Cassini spacecraft as they passed near the Sun agrees with the predictions of standard general relativity with a sensitivity that approaches the level at which, theoretically, deviations are expected in some cosmological models.

Constraining the Angular Momentum of the Sun with Planetary Orbital Motions and General Relativity

The angular momentum of a star is an important astrophysical quantity related to its internal structure, formation, and evolution. Helioseismology yields $S_{\odot}= 1.92\times10^{41}\ \mathrm{kg\

Estimating Parameterized Post-Newtonian Parameters from Spacecraft Radiometric Tracking Data

The theory of general relativity can be tested by precisely measuring small changes in the trajectory of a spacecraft traveling near the sun. An important aspect of such a measurement is the

Lunar interior properties from the GRAIL mission

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission has sampled lunar gravity with unprecedented accuracy and resolution. The lunar GM, the product of the gravitational constant G and the