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Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Planetary atmospheres might be able to prevent tidal locking
Planetary atmospheres might be able to prevent tidal locking
FaceDeerDate: Thursday, 12.02.2015, 07:54 | Message # 1
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Just came across an interesting article on Centauri Dreams describing some recent simulation work that suggests that many Earthlike planets orbiting close to smaller stars might not inevitably wind up tide-locked after all. In a nutshell, it seems that solar heating could drive a strong enough superrotation in the atmosphere that the friction of the rotating atmosphere against the planet's surface keeps the whole darn planet turning. Here's the source paper the blog post is describing.

There's still a range of planetary parameters that allow tide-locking to occur, but it might not be such a sure thing. In particular, this paper focuses on K-type stars. M-types still seem to lean on the tide-locking side of things.


Edited by FaceDeer - Thursday, 12.02.2015, 07:57
 
Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Planetary atmospheres might be able to prevent tidal locking
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