Tidal locking (or captured rotation) occurs when the gravitational gradient makes one side of an astronomical body always face another, an effect known as synchronous rotation. For example, the same side of the Earth's Moon always faces the Earth. A tidally locked body takes just as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around its partner. This causes one hemisphere constantly to face the partner body. Usually, at any given time only the satellite is tidally locked around the larger body, but if the difference in mass between the two bodies and their physical separation is small, each may be tidally locked to the other, as is the case between Pluto and Charon. This effect is employed to stabilize some artificial satellites.
Other articles related to "tidal locking":
... In contrast, the outer natural satellites of the gas giants (irregular satellites) are too far away to have become locked ... For example, Jupiter's natural satellite Himalia, Saturn's natural satellite Phoebe, and Neptune's natural satellite Nereid have rotation periods in the range of ten hours, while their orbital periods are hundreds of days ...
Famous quotes containing the word tidal:
“And now it is once more the tidal wave
That when it was swept by, leaves summits stained.
Oh, blood will out. It cannot be contained.”
—Robert Frost (18741963)