An analysis of the transits of Mercury: 1677  1973.
Abstract
Some 2400 observations of the universal times of internal contact with the sun's disk for the transits of Mercury in the period from 1677 to 1973 are analyzed to determine corrections to Newcomb's values for the orbital elements of Mercury. Distortions in the observations due to the nonuniformity of the universal time scale are removed by reducing the observations to an ephemeris time scale previously determined from observations of the moon's motion. Since this ephemeris time scale might be nonuniform with respect to the square of time as a result of a possible error in the adopted value of the tidal acceleration in the lunar ephemeris, a term varying with the square of time is included in the observational equations together with terms arising from the corrections to the orbital elements of Mercury. The equations are solved by the leastsquares method. The results indicate that the tidal acceleration of the moon is approximately 27 sec per centurysquared and that the excess of Mercury's perihelion motion over the Newtonian value is approximately +41.9 sec per century.
 Publication:

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
 Pub Date:
 October 1975
 DOI:
 10.1093/mnras/173.1.183
 Bibcode:
 1975MNRAS.173..183M
 Keywords:

 Ephemeris Time;
 Mercury (Planet);
 Orbital Elements;
 Solar Orbits;
 Transits;
 Universal Time;
 Error Analysis;
 Frequency Distribution;
 Graphs (Charts);
 Gravitation Theory;
 Least Squares Method;
 Lunar Tides;
 Occultation;
 Perihelions;
 Planet Ephemerides;
 Secular Variations;
 Standard Deviation;
 Tables (Data);
 Astronomy