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Lunar Laser Ranging Science: Gravitational Physics and Lunar Interior and Geodesy

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Published Article
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DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2005.05.013
arXiv ID: gr-qc/0412049
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arXiv
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Abstract

Laser pulses fired at retroreflectors on the Moon provide very accurate ranges. Analysis yields information on Earth, Moon, and orbit. The highly accurate retroreflector positions have uncertainties less than a meter. Tides on the Moon show strong dissipation, with Q=33 \pm 4 at a month and a weak dependence on period. Lunar rotation depends on interior properties; a fluid core is indicated with radius ~20% that of the Moon. Tests of relativistic gravity verify the equivalence principle to \pm 1.4 x 10^{-13}, limit deviations from Einstein's general relativity, and show no rate for the gravitational constant $\dot{G}/G$ with uncertainty 9 x 10^{-13} 1/yr.

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