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A Test of General Relativity Using the LARES and LAGEOS Satellites and a GRACE Earth Gravity Model: Measurement of Earth's Dragging of Inertial Frames

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A Test of General Relativity Using the LARES and LAGEOS Satellites and a GRACE Earth Gravity Model: Measurement of Earth's Dragging of Inertial Frames

Ignazio Ciufolini et al. Eur Phys J C Part Fields.

Abstract

We present a test of general relativity, the measurement of the Earth's dragging of inertial frames. Our result is obtained using about 3.5 years of laser-ranged observations of the LARES, LAGEOS, and LAGEOS 2 laser-ranged satellites together with the Earth gravity field model GGM05S produced by the space geodesy mission GRACE. We measure [Formula: see text], where [Formula: see text] is the Earth's dragging of inertial frames normalized to its general relativity value, 0.002 is the 1-sigma formal error and 0.05 is our preliminary estimate of systematic error mainly due to the uncertainties in the Earth gravity model GGM05S. Our result is in agreement with the prediction of general relativity.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Root mean square (RMS) of the LARES normal points obtained from the laser ranging observations of the Graz station of the ILRS during 2015. The average RMS of the LARES normal points is 4.83 mm (courtesy of the ILRS [38])
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Combined residuals of LARES, LAGEOS, and LAGEOS 2, over about 3.5 years of orbital observations, after the removal of six tidal signals and a constant trend
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Fit of the cumulative combined nodal residuals of LARES, LAGEOS, and LAGEOS 2 with a linear regression only
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Fit of the cumulative combined nodal residuals of LARES, LAGEOS, and LAGEOS 2 with a linear regression plus six periodical terms corresponding to six main tidal perturbations observed in the orbital residuals

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