One of the oldest space experiments which has taken many years of post flight data processing is now concluded.
A provisional copy of the primary paper is now available Gravity Probe B: Final Results of a Space Experiment to Test General Relativity
The experimental data , so far not released, might contain new information about the solar system, the sun and perhaps as a few people have written, about the path of the sun through space.
The mission was essentially a technical failure when malfunctions became obvious and was cancelled by NASA. The science team then managed with great difficulty to find funding for the completion of a very difficult data correction operation.
Unexpected gyroscope problems were the main difficulty.
I noticed the mission uses star pointing, the far distance fixed orientation reference. The method is stated as using dither but I have a background in signal processing and what is described I do not recognise as dither. The point of dither is the magic of completely incoherent noise, which then is valid for simple statistics, simple data average: the noise reducing, any signal is coherent and stays put. (hence a single data bit can be processed to 24 or more bits in data converters; a simile is a fluidise bed such as sand with water flowing through it, randomly jiggling the grains so that they behave as a liquid)
A petal pattern for dither?
The question now is what else is in the data if anything?