Why exactly is the moon's orbit becoming more circular?
Okay, so I've been pretty interested in this lately. I've been searching this up lately and haven't been able to understand any of the answers I've found. Can someone help me out on this? I know how tidal locking works, I'm just not sure how the tidal mechanics is making the moon's orbit more circular. Can someone help me out on this?
Please be as simple as possible, because I'm stupid :/
- ZardozLv 76 months agoFavorite Answer
The tidal forces between the Earth and Moon are stronger at perigee than at apogee. This stretches both Earth and Moon. That stretching is resisted. Like air resistance slowing the back and forth of a pendulum, the deformation of the Earth and Moon dampens the back and forth from perigee to apogee.Source(s): [n] = 10ⁿ
- MorningfoxLv 76 months ago
Your first citation https://yarchive.net/space/orbits/tidal_circulariz... gives some nice rational, but no actual data. The arxiv.org paper discusses stars, which are fluid. It doesn't talk about moons, which are solid and semi-rigid. I also checked the JPL ephemeris for the Moon, from 9900 BC to 9900 AD (19799 data points). The osculating orbit eccentricity doesn't seem to follow any simple trend. Instead it bounces around in a very complex way, between 0.010 and 0.094. Maybe 19,799 years is to short to show a trend.
- StevenLv 76 months ago
The elliptical movement is slowly absorbed by deforming the moon/ satellite until all that is left is a circular orbit where gravity is constant, much like a wieght on a spring stops bouncing.
- Ronald 7Lv 76 months ago
it is like a Spinning Top
If you imagine starting to spin it
It will not spin steady and upright until it is up to speed
As it Happens in Space which is Frictionless it takes Billions of Years
Very far in the Future the Earth and the Moon Will be completely Gravitationally locked
The Moon will reach its Optimum Velocity and Altitude
And Earth will be rotating at the same rate as the Moon's Orbit, Showing the Same face constantly to the Moon
The Fulcrum of the system finally being external to The Earth's Surface
It will be the same as the Plutonium System with Both Pluto and Charon Tidally Locked to each Other
Albeit at 90 Degrees to the PlaneSource(s): Pluto Solar Eclipse
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- CarolOklaNolaLv 76 months ago
Exactly where does it say the Moon's orbit is becoming more circular? Please cite your sources, or the answers you font understand.
I apologize for not answering your question, but this was news to me. I may not understand the answers you found.
- The DevilLv 76 months ago
The space program left too much stuff on the moon and it's heavier than it used to be. All the mass of satellites in orbit also interfere. That, and there is more liquid water in the ocean bulging out the equator and slowing the earth's rotation, influencing the moon's orbit.