An improved test of the general relativistic effect of frame-dragging using the...

Ciufolini, I., A. Paolozzi, E. C. Pavlis, G. Sindoni, J. Ries, R. Matzner, R. Koenig, C. Paris, V. Gurzadyan, and R. Penrose (2019), An improved test of the general relativistic effect of frame-dragging using the LARES and LAGEOS satellites, Eur. Phys. J. C, 79, 872, doi:10.1140/epjc/s10052-019-7386-z.

We report the improved test of frame-dragging, an intriguing phenomenon predicted by Einstein’s General Relativity, obtained using 7 years of Satellite Laser Ranging(SLR) data of the satellite LARES (ASI, 2012) and 26 years of SLR data of LAGEOS (NASA, 1976) and LAGEOS 2 (ASI and NASA, 1992).We used the static part and temporal variations of the Earth gravity field obtained by the space geodesy mission GRACE (NASA and DLR) and in particular the static Earth’s gravity fieldmodel GGM05S augmented by a model for the 7-day temporal variations of the lowest degree Earth spherical harmonics. We used the orbital estimator GEODYN (NASA). We measured frame-dragging to be equal to 0.9910±0.02,where 1 is the theoretical prediction of General Relativity normalized to its frame-dragging value and ±0.02 is the estimated systematic error due to modelling errors in the orbital perturbations, mainly due to the errors in the Earth’s gravity field determination. Therefore, our measurement confirms the prediction of General Relativity for frame-dragging with a few percent uncertainty.

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Earth Surface & Interior Program (ESI)