Archiv: Astronomical Unit

11.08.2019 - 19:02 [ ]

Anomalous post-newtonian terms and the secular increase of the astronomical unit


In 2004 Krasinsky and Brumberg indicated that the analysis of all available radiometric measurements of distances between the Earth and the planets, and also the observations of martian landers and orbiters, showed that the Astronomical Unit is increasing at a rate 15 ± 4 meters per century [14]. Later on, a more careful analysis by Standish has shown that the secular rate is closer to 7 ± 2 meters per century [26]. Anyway, this is by far too large to be explained by the loss of solar mass due to solar wind and electromagnetic radiation. An explanation based upon tidal friction caused by the bulge produced by Earth gravity on the Sun has been proposed [17]. However, this model has not been validated and the detailed mechanism for this tidal friction is hypothetical. A secular effect on the eccentricity of planetary motions have been also unveiled by the recent detailed analysis of the Lunar orbit. The secular increase of the eccentricity is very small but, however, is clearly within the range of precision of Lunar laser ranging. This kind of unexplained observations,
after discarding any possible conventional explanation, could give rise to an arena where the status of General Relativity as a complete theory of gravity (at least, at the macroscopic level) could be tested.

In this paper we have assumed that a conventional explanation is not possible and that an extra force term is necessary in order to incorporate this behaviour in the post-newtonian formalism.

11.08.2019 - 18:45 [ Newsweek ]

NASA Shows Einstein Was Right: Our Sun Is Losing Mass—and Its Grip on Our Solar System


As our sun gets older, it’s losing mass, and so its gravitational pull becomes weaker. As a result, the orbits of all the planets in our solar system are expanding, not unlike „the waistband of a couch potato in midlife,“ according to a new NASA press statement.

A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Maryland and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has shown that the aging sun is behaving according to Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

11.08.2019 - 17:11 [ National Aeronautics and Space Administration ]

NASA Team Studies Middle-aged Sun by Tracking Motion of Mercury


Like the waistband of a couch potato in midlife, the orbits of planets in our solar system are expanding. It happens because the Sun’s gravitational grip gradually weakens as our star ages and loses mass.

11.08.2019 - 17:08 [ ]

The Orbits Of All The Planets In Our Solar System Are Expanding As The Sun Gets Older, Study On Mercury’s Orbit Reveals


“Mercury is the perfect test object for these experiments because it is so sensitive to the gravitational effect and activity of the Sun,” explained Antonio Genova, the lead author of the study and a MIT researcher working at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Researchers were able to make these calculations from the data gathered by NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft which made three ‘flybys’ of Mercury in 2008 and 2009 and orbited Mercury between March 2011 and April 2015 before it crashed into Mercury in 2015, Mail noted.

11.08.2019 - 16:58 [ ]

„Astronomical Unit,“ or Earth-Sun Distance, Gets an Overhaul


Without fanfare, astronomers have redefined one of the most important distances in the Solar System. The astronomical unit (au) — the rough distance from the Earth to the Sun — has been transformed from a confusing calculation into a single number. The new standard, adopted in August by unanimous vote at the International Astronomical Union’s meeting in Beijing, China, is now 149,597,870,700 meters — no more, no less.

11.08.2019 - 16:51 [ ]

Why is the Earth moving away from the sun?


It’s not much – just 15 cm per year – but since that’s 100 times greater than the measurement error, something must really be pushing Earth outward. But what?

One idea is that the Sun is losing enough mass, via fusion and the solar wind, to gradually be losing its gravitational grip (see Astronomical unit may need to be redefined). Other possible explanations include a change in the gravitational constant G, the effects of cosmic expansion, and even the influence of dark matter. None have proved satisfactory.