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The Classical Correlation of Orbital Precessions

Ernest W. Graham
Year: 1997
Keywords: general relativity theory, orbit precession
The orbital precession of the binary pulsar PSR 1913+16 can be related to the quite different precessions of Mercury and other inner planets by one simple formula. Expressed non-dimensionally as degrees of prrecession per degree of orbit, the orbit precession rate is given by 3(M0Ma0 / Htot)2 (G/c)2 . Here M0 and Ma0 are the masses of the pulsar and its companion, or of the planet and the sun, as the case may be. The Htot is the total angular momentum of the system, G is the gravitational constant and c is the speed of light. The formula is obtained by postulating mass increase proportional to the inverse of the distance between bodies.