Vol 16, No 6

Numerical simulation of the Moon’s rotation in a rigorous relativistic framework

Zai Wang, Wen-biao Han, Kai Tang, Jin-He Tao


Abstract This paper describes a numerical simulation of the rigid rotation of the Moon in a relativistic framework. Following a resolution passed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 2000, we construct a kinematically non-rotating reference system named the Selenocentric Celestial Reference System (SCRS) and give the time transformation between the Selenocentric Coordinate Time (TCS) and Barycentric Coordinate Time (TCB). The post-Newtonian equations of the Moon’s rotation are written in the SCRS, and they are integrated numerically. We calculate the correction to the rotation of the Moon due to total relativistic torque which includes post-Newtonian and gravitomagnetic torques as well as geodetic precession. We find two dominant periods associated with this correction: 18.6 yr and 80.1 yr. In addition, the precession of the rotating axes caused by fourth-degree and fifth-degree harmonics of the Moon is also analyzed, and we have found that the main periods of this precession are 27.3 d, 2.9 yr, 18.6 yr and 80.1 yr.


Keywords lunar libration — Selenocentric Celestial Reference System — geodetic precession — general relativity

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