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Article

A 1% Measurement of the Gravitomagnetic Field of the Earth with Laser-Tracked Satellites

1
Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (IAPS)—Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, Tor Vergata, 00133 Roma, Italy
2
Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell’Informazione (ISTI)—Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via G. Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy
3
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Roma Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Roma, Italy
4
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Roma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Universe 2020, 6(9), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090139
Received: 16 July 2020 / Revised: 24 August 2020 / Accepted: 26 August 2020 / Published: 31 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frame-Dragging and Gravitomagnetism)
A new measurement of the gravitomagnetic field of the Earth is presented. The measurement has been obtained through the careful evaluation of the Lense-Thirring (LT) precession on the combined orbits of three passive geodetic satellites, LAGEOS, LAGEOS II, and LARES, tracked by the Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) technique. This general relativity precession, also known as frame-dragging, is a manifestation of spacetime curvature generated by mass-currents, a peculiarity of Einstein’s theory of gravitation. The measurement stands out, compared to previous measurements in the same context, for its precision (7.4×103, at a 95% confidence level) and accuracy (16×103), i.e., for a reliable and robust evaluation of the systematic sources of error due to both gravitational and non-gravitational perturbations. To achieve this measurement, we have largely exploited the results of the GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) mission in order to significantly improve the description of the Earth’s gravitational field, also modeling its dependence on time. In this way, we strongly reduced the systematic errors due to the uncertainty in the knowledge of the Earth even zonal harmonics and, at the same time, avoided a possible bias of the final result and, consequently, of the precision of the measurement, linked to a non-reliable handling of the unmodeled and mismodeled periodic effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: gravitomagnetism; Lense-Thirring precession; LAGEOS; time dependent gravity field; GRACE mission gravitomagnetism; Lense-Thirring precession; LAGEOS; time dependent gravity field; GRACE mission
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lucchesi, D.; Visco, M.; Peron, R.; Bassan, M.; Pucacco, G.; Pardini, C.; Anselmo, L.; Magnafico, C. A 1% Measurement of the Gravitomagnetic Field of the Earth with Laser-Tracked Satellites. Universe 2020, 6, 139. https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090139

AMA Style

Lucchesi D, Visco M, Peron R, Bassan M, Pucacco G, Pardini C, Anselmo L, Magnafico C. A 1% Measurement of the Gravitomagnetic Field of the Earth with Laser-Tracked Satellites. Universe. 2020; 6(9):139. https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090139

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lucchesi, David; Visco, Massimo; Peron, Roberto; Bassan, Massimo; Pucacco, Giuseppe; Pardini, Carmen; Anselmo, Luciano; Magnafico, Carmelo. 2020. "A 1% Measurement of the Gravitomagnetic Field of the Earth with Laser-Tracked Satellites" Universe 6, no. 9: 139. https://doi.org/10.3390/universe6090139

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