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Astron. Astrophys. 333, 374-378 (1998)

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The ecliptic in general relativity

J.-H. Tao and T.-Y. Huang

Department of Astronomy, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, P.R. China (tyhuang@netra.nju.edu.cn)

Received 13 August 1997 / Accepted 18 September 1997


This article deals with relativistic effects on the motion of ecliptic. It is pointed out that the traditional definition of ecliptic can be used in the framework of general relativity: in general the definition of ecliptic is coordinate dependent and proper quasi-Cartesian coordinates should be adopted to avoid ambiguity of the definition. We derive equations that determine the motion of the ecliptic and have found the magnitude of relativistic effects is rather tiny and can be completely neglected at present and in the near future.

Key words: relativity – reference systems – astrometry

Send offprint requests to: T.-Y. Huang


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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: April 15, 1998