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Advances in Astronomy
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 735487, 5 pages
Research Article

A Priori “Imprinting” of General Relativity Itself on Some Tests of It?

INFN-Sezione di Pisa, Viale Unità di Italia 68, 70125 Bari, Italy

Received 14 January 2010; Accepted 23 February 2010

Academic Editor: Zeljko Ivezic

Copyright © 2010 Lorenzo Iorio. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigate the effect of possible a priori “imprinting” effects of general relativity itself on satellite/spacecraft-based tests of it. We deal with some performed or proposed time-delay ranging experiments in the sun's gravitational field. It turns out that the “imprint” of general relativity on the Astronomical Unit and the solar gravitational constant 𝐺 𝑀 βŠ™ , not solved for in the so far performed spacecraft-based time-delay tests, induces an a priori bias of the order of 1 0 βˆ’ 6 in typical solar system ranging experiments aimed to measure the space curvature PPN parameter 𝛾 . It is too small by one order of magnitude to be of concern for the performed Cassini experiment, but it would affect future planned or proposed tests aiming to reach a 1 0 βˆ’ 7 - 1 0 βˆ’ 9 accuracy in determining 𝛾 .