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On the compatibility of a proposed explanation of the Pioneer anomaly with the cartography of the solar system

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arXiv ID: 0909.0912
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We analyze here the reasons why an explanation of the Pioneer anomaly proposed by the authors is fully compatible with the cartography of the solar system. First, this proposal posits that the phenomenon is an apparent acceleration, not a real one, caused by a progressive desynchronization of the astronomical and the atomic clock-times, after they had been synchronized at a previous instant. The desynchronization could be caused by a coupling between the background gravitation and the quantum vacuum. Therefore, the standard argument for the incompatibility of the Pioneer acceleration and the values of the planets' orbits radii cannot be applied. Second, this proposal gives exactly the same results for radar ranging observations as standard physics. Hence, it cannot be in conflict with the very precise cartography of the solar system determined by NASA's Viking mission. Otherwise stated, while this proposal predicts apparent changes in the velocities of the spaceships and in the frequencies of Doppler observations, as really observed, it does not affect the values of the distances in any way whatsoever. Note that an acceleration between the astronomical and the atomic clock-times ({\it i. e.} a progressive desynchronization) can not be discarded a priori as long as we will lack a theory of quantum gravity.


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