Séminaires sur les aspects théoriques et expérimentaux de la gravitation

Testing General Relativity in the solar system with planetary ephemerides

by Prof. Agnès FIENGA (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur)

Amphithéâtre Léon Motchane (IHES)

Amphithéâtre Léon Motchane


Le Bois Marie 35 route de Chartres 91440 Bures-sur-Yvette
Current knowledge of Mercury orbit is mainly brought by the direct radar ranging obtained from the 60s to 1998 and five Mercury flybys made by Mariner 10 in the 70s, and MESSENGER made in 2008 and 2009. On March 18, 2011, MESSENGER became the first spacecraft orbiting Mercury. The radioscience observations acquired during the orbital phase of MESSENGER drastically improved our knowledge of the Mercury orbit. An accurate MESSENGER orbit is obtained by fitting one-and-half years of tracking data using GINS orbit determination software. The systematic error in the Earth-Mercury geometric positions, also called range bias, obtained from GINS are then used to fit the INPOP dynamical modeling of the planet motions. An improved ephemeris of the planets is then obtained, INPOP13a, and used to perform general relativity test of PPN-formalism. Monte Carlo simulations will be introduced for estimating the most significant levels of GR violations in terms of PPN parameters and their correlated parameter (oblateness of the sun) and of time-varying Gravitational constant G.