A comment on “A test of general relativity using the LARES and LAGEOS satellites and a GRACE Earth gravity model”, by I. Ciufolini et al.
Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (M.I.U.R.), Viale Unità di Italia 68, Bari (BA), 70125, Italy
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Accepted: 8 January 2017
Published online: 6 February 2017
Recently, Ciufolini et al. reported on a test of the general relativistic gravitomagnetic Lense–Thirring effect by analyzing about 3.5 years of laser ranging data to the LAGEOS, LAGEOS II, LARES geodetic satellites orbiting the Earth. By using the GRACE-based GGM05S Earth’s global gravity model and a linear combination of the nodes of the three satellites designed to remove the impact of errors in the first two even zonal harmonic coefficients of the multipolar expansion of the Newtonian part of the Earth’s gravitational potential, they claimed an overall accuracy of for the Lense–Thirring caused node motion. We show that the scatter in the nominal values of the uncancelled even zonals of degree from some of the most recent global gravity models does not yet allow to reach unambiguously and univocally the expected level, being large up to for some pairs of models.
© The Author(s), 2017