Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lunar laser ranging

An article at SPIE reviewing forty years of lunar laser ranging.
Some calculations using this data, such as the distance between the earth and moon, are straightforward. The average distance from the centers of the earth and the moon is 238,897 miles (384,467 km) -- measured with a precision equivalent to determining the distance between Los Angeles and New York to 1/100 of an inch. The speed of rotation of the earth and moon, as well as their axial and orbital variations, can also be determined.

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