tidal evolution

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The changes in the orbital and axial periods of two bodies in mutual orbit caused by the tides that each raises on the other. The bodies can have their axial rotation periods altered until one or both of the rotation periods equals their orbital period, a situation known as synchronous rotation. In the Solar System most of the major satellites have synchronous rotation periods as a result of tidal evolution. See also tidal friction.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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