Relativistic Reference Frames for Astrometry and Navigation in the Solar System
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Astrophysical space missions deliver invaluable information about our universe, stellar dynamics of our galaxy, and motion of celestial bodies in the solar system. Astrometric space missions SIMand Gaia will determine distances to stars and cosmological objects as well as their physical characteristics and positions on the celestial sphere with microarcsecond precision. These and other space missions dedicated to exploration of the solar system are invaluable for experimental testing of general relativity. Permanently growing accuracy of space and ground-based astronomical observations require corresponding development of relativistic theory of reference frames, motion of celestial bodies, and propagation of light/radio signals from a source of light/radio to observer. Such theory must be based on Einstein's general relativity and account for various relativistic effects both in the solar system and outside of its boundary.We describe a hierarchy of the relativistic frames adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 2000, and outline directions for its theoretical and practical extentions by matching the IAU 2000 reference frames in the solar system to the cosmological Friedman-Robertson-Walker reference frame and to the frames used in the parametrized post-Newtonian formalism.