The mass of Mercury
Abstract
3872 transit circle and 1083 radarranging observations, covering a time span from 1914 to 1991, are used to estimate the mass of the planet Mercury. Two different vector norms, the L1 and the L2 (least squares), employed with an optimization method that does not linearize the equations of condition reduce the data. The L1 norm calculates a mass of 1/(6,019,269 ± 233) in units of the solar mass and the L2 norm a mass of 1/(6,022,600 ± 200). These values agree with the recommended IAU value for Mercury's mass, 1/(6,023,600 ± 250), although not to within the stated formal mean errors. No reason exists to suspect a serious error in the recommended value for the mass.
 Publication:

Planetary and Space Science
 Pub Date:
 March 1994
 DOI:
 10.1016/00320633(94)900833
 Bibcode:
 1994P&SS...42..213B
 Keywords:

 Mercury (Planet);
 Planetary Mass;
 Radar Measurement;
 Visual Observation;
 Astronomical Observatories;
 Data Reduction;
 Flyby Missions;
 Least Squares Method;
 Mariner Spacecraft;
 Matrices (Mathematics);
 Rangefinding;
 Astronomy