When space probes, such as Rosetta and Cassini, fly over certain planets and moons, in order to gain momentum and travel long distances, their speed changes slightly for an unknown reason. A researcher has now analyzed whether or not a hypothetical gravitomagnetic field could have an influence. However, other factors such as solar radiation, tides, or even relativistic effects or dark matter could be behind this mystery.
Since the beginnings of space exploration, many spacecrafts have gone into a hyperbolic orbit around planets or moons, with the aim of taking advantage of their gravitational energy and go towards their target. However, during this flyby manoeuvre, 'something' makes the scientists' theoretical calculations to not meet and the speed of the probes deviates from that expected.
This anomaly has only been detected with a high level of precision in flybys of Earth, due to the availability of monitoring stations such as that of the NASA in Robledo de Chabela (Madrid) or that of the European Space Agency in Cebreros (Ávila), which allow for the variations in the spacecrafts' speed to be recorded by means of radars.To read more, click here.