Aberration and the Fundamental Speed of Gravity in the Jovian Deflection Experiment
Kopeikin, Sergei M.
Fomalont, Edward B.
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We describe our explicit Lorentz-invariant solution of the Einstein and null geodesic equations for the deflection experiment of 2002 September 8 when a massive moving body, Jupiter, passed within 3.7' of a line-of- sight to a distant quasar. We develop a general relativistic framework which shows that our measurement of the retarded position of a moving light-ray deflecting body (Jupiter) by making use of the gravitational time delay of quasar's radio wave is equivalent to comparison of the relativistic laws of the Lorentz transformation for gravity and light. Because, according to Einstein, the Lorentz transformation of gravity field variables must depend on a fundamental speed $c$, its measurement through the retarded position of Jupiter in the gravitational time delay allows us to study the causal nature of gravity and to set an upper limit on the speed of propagation of gravity in the near zone of the solar system as contrasted to the speed of the radio waves. We discuss the misconceptions which have inhibited the acceptance of this interpretation of the experiment. We also comment on other interpretations of this experiment by Asada, Will, Samuel, Pascual-Sanchez, and Carlip and show that their `speed of light' interpretations confuse the Lorentz transformation for gravity with that for light, and the fundamental speed of gravity with the physical speed of light from the quasar.
Physics and Astronomy publications (MU)