#1 - Posted: 13/08/2008 18:48
The radiative and particulate loss of mass by the Sun,
M(sun)/M(sun) = -9.13X10-14 per year
or more causes the orbits of the planets to expand at the same rate, their periods to lengthen at twice this rate."
The probes were launched over 30 years ago. By the numbers above, that means as much as
3 X 10^-12 solar masses have been lost since the probes were launched. If the probes travel 219000000 miles per year the loss of mass should cause an anomaly of about
219000000 X 9 X 10^-14 or 1.8 X 10^4 miles or .0002 miles. Obviously this ain't the answer but it shows we're looking for is a pretty big effect relative to one of the physical effects we know.
I suppose somebody has worked this out using general realtivity but I haven't seen it. If anyone has, I'd appreciatea a link.
8000/219000000 = 4X10^-5, several orders of magnitude short of what is needed.