Independent Confirmation of the Pioneer 10 Anomalous Acceleration


I perform an independent analysis of radio Doppler tracking data from the Pioneer 10 spacecraft for the time period 1987-1994. All of the tracking data were taken from public archive sources, and the analysis tools were developed independently by myself. I confirm that an apparent anomalous acceleration is acting on the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, which is not accounted for by present physical models of spacecraft navigation. My best fit value for the acceleration, including corrections for systematic biases and uncertainties, is (8.60 +/- 1.34) x 10^{-8} cm s^{-2}, directed towards the Sun. This value compares favorably to previous results. I examine the robustness of my result to various perturbations of the analysis method, and find agreement to within +/- 5%. The anomalous acceleration is reasonably constant with time, with a characteristic variation time scale of > 70 yr. Such a variation timescale is still too short to rule out on-board thermal radiation effects, based on this particular Pioneer 10 data set.Comment: RevTeX, 29 pages, 5 figures, submitted to Phys Rev

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