Gaussian year

A Gaussian year is defined as 365.2568983 days.[1] It was adopted by Carl Friedrich Gauss as the length of the sidereal year in his studies of the dynamics of the solar system. A slightly different value is now accepted as the length of the sidereal year,[2] and the value accepted by Gauss is given a special name.

A particle of negligible mass, that orbits a body of 1 solar mass in this period, has a mean axis for its orbit of 1 astronomical unit by definition. The value is derived from Kepler's third law as


k is the Gaussian gravitational constant.[3]

See also


  1. Standish, E. M. (2004-06-01). "The Astronomical Unit now". Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union. 2004 (IAUC196): 163–179. doi:10.1017/S1743921305001365. ISSN 1743-9221.
  2. Chamberlin, Alan. "Astrodynamic Constants". Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  3. Herrick, S.; Jr, R. M. L. Baker; Hilton, C. G. (1958-01-01). Hecht, F., ed. VIIIth International Astronautical Congress Barcelona 1957 / VIII. Internationaler Astronautischer Kongress / VIIIe Congrès International D’Astronautique. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 197–235. doi:10.1007/978-3-662-39990-3_17. ISBN 9783662390207.

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