Volume 640, August 2020
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Section||Celestial mechanics and astrometry|
|Published online||28 July 2020|
Analysis of Cassini radio tracking data for the construction of INPOP19a: A new estimate of the Kuiper belt mass
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Aerospaziale, Sapienza Università di Roma, via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy
2 GéoAzur, CNRS-UMR7329, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, 250 rue Albert Einstein, Valbonne 06560, France
3 IMCCE, Observatoire de Paris, PSL University, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, 77 avenue Denfert-Rochereau, Paris 75014, France
Accepted: 27 May 2020
Context. Recent discoveries of new trans-Neptunian objects have greatly increased the attention by the scientific community to this relatively unknown region of the solar system. The current level of precision achieved in the description of planet orbits has transformed modern ephemerides in the most updated tools for studying the gravitational interactions between solar system bodies. In this context, the orbit of Saturn plays a primary role, especially thanks to Cassini tracking data collected during its 13-year mission around the ringed planet. Planetary ephemerides are currently mainly built using radio data, in particular with normal points derived from range and Doppler observables exchanged between ground stations and interplanetary probes.
Aims. We present an analysis of Cassini navigation data aimed at producing new normal points based on the most updated knowledge of the Saturnian system developed throughout the whole mission. We provide additional points from radio science dedicated passes of Grand Finale orbits and Titan flybys. An updated version of the INPOP planetary ephemerides based upon these normal points is presented, along with a new estimate of the mass of trans-Neptunian object rings located in the 2:1 and 3:2 mean motion resonances with Neptune.
Methods. We describe in detail the orbit determination process performed to construct the normal points and their associated uncertainties and how we process those points to produce a new planetary ephemeris.
Results. From the analysis, we obtained 623 new normal points for Saturn with metre-level accuracy. The ephemeris INPOP19a, including this new dataset, provides an estimated mass for the trans-Neptunian object rings of (0.061 ± 0.001)M⊕.
Key words: Kuiper belt: general / ephemerides / gravitation / space vehicles: instruments
© ESO 2020
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.