the force on parts of a extended body in a non-uniform gravitational field due to residual of the gravitational attraction between the overall effect on the body and the expected effect on the point in question. Tidal forces are most notably in large moons orbiting near their primaries.

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82
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7answers
6k views

Does Earth really have two high-tide bulges on opposite sides?

The bit that makes sense – tidal forces My physics teacher explained that most tidal effect is caused by the moon rotating around the Earth, and some also by the Sun. They said that in the Earth and ...
52
votes
4answers
6k views

Moon's pull causes tides on far side of Earth: why?

I have always wondered and once I even got it, but then completely forgot. I understand that gravity causes high and low tides in oceans, but why does it occur on the other side of Earth?
35
votes
7answers
5k views

Are we slightly lighter during the day and slightly heavier at night, owing to the force of the Sun's gravity?

Using $g = \frac{Gm}{r^2}$, the force on a point mass located at 1 AU from the Sun ($m = 2 \cdot 10^{30} \text{ kg}$) is about ~0.006 N/kg. Does that mean that, e.g., a 70 kg person is ~42g lighter ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does the moon face earth with the same side?

I know that the rotation period of the moon equals its revolution period. It's just so astonishing that these 2 values have such a small difference. I mean, what is the probability of these 2 values ...
18
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3answers
3k views

How quickly was the Earth rotating 250 million years ago?

The Earth is slowing at a rate of $4.7\times10^{-4}$ miles per second every 100 years due to tidal forces of the moon. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_rotation ...
18
votes
1answer
822 views

How can the Moon have such a strong effect on the ocean?

The gravitational acceleration on Earth is approximately $ 10 \mathrm{m}/\mathrm{s}^2 $. Compared to this, the tidal effect of the Moon's gravity gives a local variation in the acceleration of ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Are tidal power plants slowing down Earth's rotation?

Are tidal power plants slowing down Earth's rotation to the speed of the orbiting moon? (1 rotation per 28 cca days) Are they vice versa increasing the speed of moon orbiting by generating some ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Why Aren't Saturn's Rings Clumping into Moons?

While reading with my son about how a Mars-like planet collided with the early Earth that resulted in our current moon, it said the initial debris also formed a ring, but that ring ended up getting ...
14
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5answers
4k views

Why do we always see the same side of the Moon? [duplicate]

I am puzzled why we always see the same side of the Moon even though it is rotating around its own axis apart from revolving around the earth. Shouldn't this only be possible if the Moon is not ...
13
votes
2answers
571 views

Is the length of the day increasing?

In Frontiers of Astronomy, Fred Hoyle advanced an idea from E.E.R.Holmberg that although the Earth's day was originally much shorter than it is now, and has lengthened owing to tidal friction, that ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Why does the moon drift away from earth?

I once saw on TV that the moon is slowly drifting away from the earth, something like an inch a year. In relation to that the day on earth what also increase in time. I wonder why is that?
10
votes
5answers
707 views

Why cant one see tidal effects in a glass of water?

Why cant one see the tidal effect in a glass of water like in an ocean?
10
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2answers
375 views

How large can planets or moons appear?

In many artistic impressions or movies there are pictures or scenes where the sky is filled with an enormous moon (as seen from a planet) or vice versa. I wonder if there is an upper limit to the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Tidal Lock Radius in Habitable Zones

Much is made of finding exoplanets in habitable zones, locations with orbital semi-major axes permitting water in the liquid state. Habitability may be compromised if such bodies become tidally ...
8
votes
12answers
2k views

Is the distance between the sun and the earth increasing?

M = mass of the sun m = mass of the earth r = distance between the earth and the sun The sun is converting mass into energy by nuclear fusion. $F = \frac{GMm}{r^2} = \frac{mv^2}{r} \rightarrow r ...
7
votes
2answers
802 views

If the moon was twice as big but twice as far away, would there be any difference?

I'm just going to go ahead and steal this question question directly of Reddit since I have more trust in the answers I get on this site. So, if the moon was twice as big but also twice as far way, ...
7
votes
3answers
462 views

Tidal force on far side

I have a question about tidal forces on the far side of a body experiencing gravitational attraction from another body. Let's assume we have two spherical bodies $A$ and $B$ whose centers are $D$ ...
7
votes
1answer
328 views

How to simulate a crashing wave? [closed]

I'd like to create a very rough animation of a wave crashing on a beach. I'm guessing it would have to be a particle simulator, where you code in the forces between the particles and then integrate ...
7
votes
2answers
840 views

Where does tidal energy come from?

Kind of an odd, random question that popped into my head. Tidal energy - earth's ocean movement, volcanism on some of Jupiter's moons, etc. - obviously comes from the gravitational interaction between ...
6
votes
4answers
724 views

Where's earths death bulge, destroying everything in it's path?

I was watching a BBC documentary on space last night. It was talking about gravity, and it said that the reason we only ever see one side of the moon, is because the earths gravity is strong enough ...
6
votes
2answers
162 views

Is there any dynamical reason for the winter solstice to happen close to the perihelion?

When the winter solstice arrives, the angular momentum of the Earth, its orbital angular momentum and its radius vector with the orbital focus in the Sun are in the same plane. This happens quite ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the moon affect the Earth's climate?

So, this morning I was talking to a friend about astronomical observations, and he told me that lately there has only been good weather when there was a full moon in the sky, which was a shame. I ...
5
votes
2answers
89 views

Does the Earth's core have tides?

Does the moon produce a measurable tidal-effect on the Earth's (liquid) core? If so, how strong is it? Would it play a factor in other geological effects like earthquakes, volcanoes, etc?
5
votes
1answer
337 views

Can you tell just from its gravity whether the Moon is above or below you?

If you are on a place of Earth where the Moon is currently directly above or directly below you, you experience a slightly reduced gravitational acceleration because of Moon's gravity. This is what ...
5
votes
1answer
246 views

Tidal force when planets and smaller objects collide

There are lots of animations on the Web of planet collisions. In most, the planets maintain their (almost perfectly) spherical shape and their surface features right up to the point of impact. In ...
5
votes
1answer
276 views

Determining Average Tidal Effects

Maximum tidal heights vary widely across the globe, from 16 m in the Bay of Fundy to mere centimeters elsewhere. These variations are due to coastline and shoreline differences. This makes it ...
4
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2answers
278 views

If the moon was rapid enough would it be able to orbit the earth from a close distance?

If the moon was close in orbit that it's surface was like 100 km away from the earth's surface. And it had a large enough angular velocity will it be able to hold orbit? If this was possible, is ...
4
votes
4answers
365 views

Which gets you first when you are falling into a black hole, the black hole singularity or the cosmic background radiation?

If you look up while you are falling into a black hole you see the universe blue shifted, that is, you see the universe moving quickly forward in time compared to your local time. Since this effect ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What would it be like if we had a planet very close to us?

My desktop background rotates through a bunch of space and nature scenes, and this one came up. What would be the effect on people walking around down here, if another earth was looming overhead ...
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Tidal force of Sun?

As I understand, satellites and the Moon orbiting Earth are in free fall. Isn't the same true for Earth orbiting the Sun? My question is then: How can the Sun's gravity affect tides? Aren't the ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

Would a considerably big asteroid be disintegrated by the Earth's Roche limit?

If there was a big asteroid with a diameter of say 50km+ in a collision course with the Earth (not orbiting), would it disintegrate into smaller chunks due to the Earth's Roche limit, or the time it ...
4
votes
2answers
85 views

Changes in planetary orbit?

Forgive a novice and her naive curiosity, but I was wondering about planetary orbit and the aging of planets. As a planet ages, does its transit around its sun/star decrease or increase in speed? ...
4
votes
0answers
107 views

Why is the orbital resonance of the Galilean moons stable?

It is well known that the orbits of Ganymede, Europa and Io are in a 4:2:1 resonance. Most online sources (including but not limited to Wikipedia) say that such an orbital resonance, along with the ...
3
votes
4answers
870 views

Angular momentum power plant on Earth

If tidal power plants are slowing down Earth's rotation then is it theoretically possible to build a power plant that would drain energy from Earth's angular momentum (thus slowing down it's ...
3
votes
1answer
381 views

Where does energy for high and low tides come from?

High and low tides are caused by Moon gravity attracting water. Now there's friction, waves cause erosion, their energy is used in power plants yet the tides work for millions of years and are ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

How do the “tidal forces warming moons” theories hold when apart from heating from expansion, there may be also cooling from contraction?

I can understand a temporary heating, from the tital forces exerted on the moon but wouldn't there be cooling as well eventually when particles "give in" to contraction? Wouldn't they eventually net a ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How gravitation effect on tides

I know that tide is caused by the gravitational pull of moon but what I don't know is how it effects on water. I have actually these doubts. Why does gravity of the moon creates tides only in water? ...
3
votes
1answer
299 views

Would the Moon drift away from the Earth due to extraction of tidal energy? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does the moon drift away from earth? It seems to me that, due to conservation of energy, the moon would drift away from the Earth if humans began extracting large ...
3
votes
1answer
218 views

Stability of moons around tidally locked exoplanets

Can someone send me pointers to work (either theoretical or simulations) showing (in)stability of satellite orbits around tidally locked exoplanets? I want to know firstly if satellite orbits can ...
3
votes
1answer
152 views

How can you calculate the tidal gradient for an orbit?

In the movie Gravity, two characters are dangling from the international space station by a long tether. I've previously wondered exactly how you could calculate the tidal forces that act on an ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Question about tide

Let's say a canal is built in the middle of Kansas in the shape of a ring that stretches 100 miles in diameter. The band of water is 100 feet wide and 10 feet deep throughout the entire canal, and the ...
3
votes
0answers
121 views

Is the equivalence principle in General Relativity an approximation?

I read in web that Einstein used the principle of equivalence to explain General Relativity but we know the gravitation is approximately equal in all of rested frame in gravitional field. In ...
3
votes
0answers
109 views

Is Earth/Luna tidal lock approaching faster?

Wikipedia pegs the mass of Earth at $5.972\cdot 10^{24}\,\text{kg}$ or $5.972\cdot 10^{21}\,\text{metric tons}$. Assuming Earth accumulates approximately $30,000\,\text{metric tons}$ annually. To ...
3
votes
3answers
186 views

Tidal acceleration for a retrograde rotation?

Consider two nonelastic spherical bodies with uniformly distributed density, a small such body in a circular orbit around the bigger one. And consider the smaller body's rotation is matched (as if ...
2
votes
4answers
156 views

Dark matter and tides

As I understand, "dark matter" is what they call a theoretical substance which is only known by it's influence upon velocity curve of the galaxy. If indeed the gravity of "dark matter" is so strong ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

How should I be thinking about tides?

I am working on a project for physics that involves tides. This is my current mind set when thinking about tides: The earth applies a gravitational force on some mass ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

How does angular momentum transfer between a planet and its moon?

Could you explain how a moon draws angular momentum from a planet? I know that the gravitational force transfers momentum, but I don't understand the mechanics behind it.
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Synchronized rotation of the moon

Does the moon rotates? Yes. The rotation matches exactly the orbit of the Earth. Which means in 28 days the moon makes one rotation. Shouldn't this be also happening with the Earth rotation around the ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Would a large, small mass object in orbit experience induced rotation

Imagine a large (multiple earth radii), very small-mass ring orbiting The Sun. Half of the ring would be closer to The Sun than the outer half. Since orbital velocity decreases with distance, two free ...
2
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0answers
53 views

Calculating the gravity gradient of a black hole [duplicate]

Given a black hole of, say, $10^8 \odot$ (solar masses), how can I calculate the gravity gradient ($\frac{\Delta g}{m}$?) at a given distance from it?