Volume 410, Number 3, November II 2003
|Page(s)||1063 - 1074|
|Section||Celestial mechanics and astrometry|
|Published online||17 November 2003|
Numerical simulations of the light propagation in the gravitational field of moving bodies
Lohrmann Observatory, Dresden Technical University, Mommsenstr. 13, 01062 Dresden, Germany
Corresponding author: S. A. Klioner, email@example.com
Accepted: 1 August 2003
One of the most subtle points in the modern relativistic models for microarcsecond astrometrical observations is the treatment of the influence of translational motion of gravitating bodies on the light propagation. This paper describes numerical simulations of the light propagation in the gravitational field of moving gravitating bodies and summarizes the underlying theory. The simulations include high-precision numerical integrations of both post-Newtonian and post-Minkowskian differential equations of light propagation and a detailed comparison of the results of the numerical integrations with various available approximate analytical formulas. The simulations has been performed both for hypothetical bodies with various parameters of trajectories as well as for all the major bodies of the solar system using the JPL ephemeris DE405/LE405 to calculate their motion. It is shown that for an accuracy of ∼0.2 it is sufficient to use the well-known solution for the light propagation in the field of a motionless mass monopole and substitute in that solution the position of the body at the moment of closest approach between the actual trajectory of the body and the unperturbed light path (as was first suggested by Hellings 1986). For a higher accuracy one should use either the post-Newtonian solution for uniformly moving bodies (Klioner & Kopeikin 1992) or the post-Minkowskian solution for arbitrarily moving bodies (Kopeikin & Schäefer 1999). For astrometric observations performed from within the solar system these two solutions guarantee the accuracy of ~0.002 and are virtually indistinguishable from each other.
Key words: astrometry / reference systems / relativity / gravitational lensing
© ESO, 2003
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