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Mercury's resonant rotation from secular orbital elements

Stark, Alexander and Oberst, Jürgen and Hussmann, Hauke (2015) Mercury's resonant rotation from secular orbital elements. Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy, 123 (3), pp. 263-277. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/s10569-015-9633-4 ISSN 0923-2958

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10569-015-9633-4


We used recently produced Solar System ephemerides, which incorporate 2 years of ranging observations to the MESSENGER spacecraft, to extract the secular orbital elements for Mercury and associated uncertainties. As Mercury is in a stable 3:2 spin-orbit resonance, these values constitute an important reference for the planet’s measured rotational parameters, which in turn strongly bear on physical interpretation of Mercury’s interior structure. In particular, we derive a mean orbital period of (87.96934962±0.00000037) days and (assuming a perfect resonance) a spin rate of (6.138506839±0.000000028) °/day. The difference between this rotation rate and the currently adopted rotation rate (Archinal et al. in Celest Mech Dyn Astron 109(2):101–135, 2011. doi:10.1007/s10569-010-9320-4), corresponds to a longitudinal displacement of approx. 67 m per year at the equator. Moreover, we present a basic approach for the calculation of the orientation of the instantaneous Laplace and Cassini planes of Mercury. The analysis allows us to assess the uncertainties in physical parameters of the planet, when derived from observations of Mercury’s rotation.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/100864/
Document Type:Article
Title:Mercury's resonant rotation from secular orbital elements
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Stark, Alexanderalexander.stark (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Oberst, Jürgenjuergen.oberst (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Hussmann, Haukehauke.hussmann (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:21 July 2015
Journal or Publication Title:Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1007/s10569-015-9633-4
Page Range:pp. 263-277
Keywords:Mercury Spin-orbit coupling Laplace plane MESSENGER Ephemeris Secular elements
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben BepiColombo (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geodesy
Deposited By: Stark, Alexander
Deposited On:07 Jan 2016 08:07
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:24

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