We improve, using a larger set of observations including Voyager 2 Neptune flyby data, previous bounds on the amount of dark matter (DM) trapped in a spherically symmetric distribution about the sun. We bound DM by noting that such a distribution would increase the effective mass of the sun as seen by the outer planets and by finding the uncertainty in that effective mass for Uranus and Neptune in fits to the JPL Developmental Ephermeris residuals, including optical data and those two planets' Voyager 2 flybys. We extend our previous procedure by fitting more parameters of the developmental ephemerides. Additionally, we present here the values for Pioneer 10 and 11 and Voyager 1 and 2 Jupiter ranging normal points (and incorporate these data as well). Our principal result is to limit DM in spherically symmetric distributions in orbit about the sun interior to Neptune's orbit to less than an earth mass and interior to Uranus' orbit to about 1/6 of an earth's mass.

Publication Date



Also archived at: arXiv:hep-ph/9503368 v1 17 Mar 1995 J.D.A. and E.L.L. acknowledge support from the Pioneer Project Office, NASA Ames Research Center, under Letter of Agreement ARC/PP017; and support from the Ultraviolet/Visible/Gravitation Astrophysics Office of them NASA Astrophysics Division. Their work was preformed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. The work of DAD was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy under Grant No. DE-FG03-93ER40757. The SMU work was supported in part by the Texas National Research Laboratory Commission Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


RIT – Main Campus