Astrophysics question

Posted by Amaranth Rose on Feb 01, 2004 at 16:34

Given a water world in an orbit where the temperature of the planet runs 5-15 degrees C above Earth's ambient temps, with an ocean that covers approximately 50% of the surface, ocean water high in mineral salts, therefore a specific gravity somewhat greater than 1.0, closer to 1.5-2.0, would a satellite 1/10 the size of the planet be adequate to produce tides that were noticeable and predictable? This scenario assumes a similar density for both the planet and the moon. A stable, non-decaying orbit (equilibrium conditions) is assumed.

Am I correct in assuming that the satellite need not be, how do you say, "rotationally locked", with the planet (always showing the same face) to produce tides? Though they may not be occurring at the same times each day, they would occur on a predictable interval related to the satellite's periodicity, would they not? It is the fact of the presence of the mass of the moon, not the rotation of the moon's mass that is important, is it not?

Thanks. If this works, I'll take you all for a ride on the Quantum Zephyr when it comes into port! :-)

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