Gaussian gravitational constant

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Gaussian gravitational constant

(gowss -ee-ăn) Symbol: k . A constant equal in value to
0.017 202 098 95

It defines the astronomical system of units of length (astronomical unit), mass (solar mass), and time (day) by means of Newton's form of Kepler's third law:

n 2a 3 = k 2(1 + m )
n is the mean motion of a planet in radians per day, a is the semimajor axis of its orbit in astronomical units, and m is its mass in terms of solar mass. The dimensions of k 2 are those of Newton's gravitational constant.

Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
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