Abstract:
The problem of absolute motion in the context of the twin paradox is discussed. It is shown that the various versions of the clock paradox feature some aspects which Mach might have been appreciated. However, the ultimate cause of the behavior of the clocks must be attributed to the autonomous status of spacetime, thereby proving the relational program advocated by Mach as impracticable.

Abstract:
In this paper the effect of the post-Newtonian gravitomagnetic force on the mean longitudes $l$ of a pair of counter-rotating Earth artificial satellites following almost identical circular equatorial orbits is investigated. The possibility of measuring it is examined. The observable is the difference of the times required to $l$ in passing from 0 to 2$\pi$ for both senses of motion. Such gravitomagnetic time shift, which is independent of the orbital parameters of the satellites, amounts to 5$\times 10^{-7}$ s for Earth; it is cumulative and should be measured after a sufficiently high number of revolutions. The major limiting factors are the unavoidable imperfect cancellation of the Keplerian periods, which yields a constraint of 10$^{-2}$ cm in knowing the difference between the semimajor axes $a$ of the satellites, and the difference $I$ of the inclinations $i$ of the orbital planes which, for $i\sim 0.01^\circ$, should be less than $0.006^\circ$. A pair of spacecrafts endowed with a sophisticated intersatellite tracking apparatus and drag-free control down to 10$^{-9}$ cm s$^{-2}$ Hz$^{-{1/2}}$ level might allow to meet the stringent requirements posed by such a mission.

Abstract:
The general relativistic gravitomagnetic clock effect involves a coupling between the orbital motion of a test particle and the rotation of the central mass and results in a difference in the proper periods of two counter-revolving satellites. It is shown that at O(c^-2) this effect has a simple analogue in the electromagnetic case. Moreover, in view of a possible measurement of the clock effect in the gravitational field of the Earth, we investigate the influence of some classical perturbing forces of the terrestrial space environment on the orbital motion of test bodies along opposite trajectories.

Abstract:
The possibility of detecting the gravitomagnetic clock effect using artificial Earth satellites provides the incentive to develop a more intuitive approach to its derivation. We first consider two test electric charges moving on the same circular orbit but in opposite directions in orthogonal electric and magnetic fields and show that the particles take different times in describing a full orbit. The expression for the time difference is completely analogous to that of the general relativistic gravitomagnetic clock effect in the weak-field and slow-motion approximation. The latter is obtained by considering the gravitomagnetic force as a small classical non-central perturbation of the main central Newtonian monopole force. A general expression for the clock effect is given for a spherical orbit with an arbitrary inclination angle. This formula differs from the result of the general relativistic calculations by terms of order c^{-4}.

Abstract:
The sequence of Schumann resonances is unique for each celestial body with an ionosphere, since these resonances are determined by the dimensions of the planet/satellite and the corresponding atmospheric conductivity profile. Detecting these frequencies in an atmosphere is a clear proof of electrical activity, since it implies the existence of an electromagnetic energy source, which is essential for their creation and maintenance. In this paper, an analysis procedure for extracting weak resonances from the responses of electromagnetic systems excited by electric discharges is shown. The procedure, based on analysis of the late-time system response, is first checked using an analytical function and later applied to the vertical electric field generated by the computational simulation of Earth's atmosphere using the TLM (Transmission Line Matrix) method in order to extract the weak Schumann resonances contained in this electric field component.

Abstract:
Based on the recent finding that the difference in proper time of two clocks in prograde and retrograde equatorial orbits about the Earth is of the order 10^{-7}s per revolution, the possibility of detecting the terrestrial gravitomagnetic field by means of clocks carried by satellites is discussed. A mission taking advantage of this influence of the rotating Earth on the proper time is outlined and the conceptual difficulties are briefly examined.

Abstract:
The main theoretical aspects of gravitomagnetism are reviewed. It is shown that the gravitomagnetic precession of a gyroscope is intimately connected with the special temporal structure around a rotating mass that is revealed by the gravitomagnetic clock effect. This remarkable effect, which involves the difference in the proper periods of a standard clock in prograde and retrograde circular geodesic orbits around a rotating mass, is discussed in detail. The implications of this effect for the notion of ``inertial dragging'' in the general theory of relativity are presented. The theory of the clock effect is developed within the PPN framework and the possibility of measuring it via spaceborne clocks is examined.

Abstract:
Recent years have seen increasing efforts to directly measure some aspects of the general relativistic gravitomagnetic interaction in several astronomical scenarios in the solar system. After briefly overviewing the concept of gravitomagnetism from a theoretical point of view, we review the performed or proposed attempts to detect the Lense-Thirring effect affecting the orbital motions of natural and artificial bodies in the gravitational fields of the Sun, Earth, Mars and Jupiter. In particular, we will focus on the evaluation of the impact of several sources of systematic uncertainties of dynamical origin to realistically elucidate the present and future perspectives in directly measuring such an elusive relativistic effect.

Abstract:
General relativity predicts that two freely counter-revolving test particles in the exterior field of a central rotating mass take different periods of time to complete the same full orbit; this time difference leads to the gravitomagnetic clock effect. The effect has been derived for circular equatorial orbits; moreover, it has been extended via azimuthal closure to spherical orbits around a slowly rotating mass. In this work, a general formula is derived for the main gravitomagnetic clock effect in the case of slow motion along an arbitrary {\it elliptical} orbit in the exterior field of a slowly rotating mass. Some of the implications of this result are briefly discussed.