Re: Astrophysics question

Posted by Pasti on Feb 01, 2004 at 21:58

Re: Astrophysics question (Amaranth Rose)

"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?"

Yep, you are right.You only need the satellite in order to have tides. And yes, th tides would still occur at a predictable interval.
The fact that the satellite has spin,and it is not "rotationally locked" is a second order effect, in the sense that it will affect the height/intensity of the tide that occurs at those predictable intervals,in a cyclical manner depending on the spin of the satellite, and with a magnitude depending on the position of the satellite on its orbit.This second order effect becomes larger if the satellite spins along an axis with respect to which it is highly asymmetric (think of the satellite like something with very high and large mountains on one side, and huge and deep valleys diametrally oposite to the mountains).

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