Atmospheric thermal tides may prevent synchronous rotation

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Atmospheric thermal tides may prevent synchronous rotation

Post by Lazarus on 18th January 2015, 5:30 pm

Leconte et al. (2015) "Asynchronous rotation of Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars"
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/01/16/science.1258686.abstract

Judging by the abstract, apparently atmospheric thermal tides (invoked to explain why Venus is not tidally-locked) may also be effective at preventing spin-synchronisation of planets with thinner atmospheres, including in the HZ of low mass stars. Threshold given is ~0.5--0.7 solar mass host star, which IIRC gets you down to about M0--M1.
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Re: Atmospheric thermal tides may prevent synchronous rotation

Post by PlutonianEmpire on 18th January 2015, 7:21 pm

I saw this yesterday. Personally, I don't think "prevent" is the best word to describe it. "Reduce" or "slow down" tidal synchronization might be a better description, IMO.

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Re: Atmospheric thermal tides may prevent synchronous rotation

Post by Lazarus on 19th January 2015, 3:32 am

PlutonianEmpire wrote:I saw this yesterday. Personally, I don't think "prevent" is the best word to describe it. "Reduce" or "slow down" tidal synchronization might be a better description, IMO.
Not really: it's a change in the value of the equilibrium rotation itself. The exact 1:1 lock is not an equilibrium rotation (let alone a stable equilibrium) in the presence of thermal tides, instead you seem to end up with 4 equilibria (2 stable, 2 unstable), none of which are exactly synchronous.
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Re: Atmospheric thermal tides may prevent synchronous rotation

Post by Led_Zep on 20th January 2015, 4:44 am

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Planets_outside_our_solar_system_more_hospitable_to_life_than_thought_999.html
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Re: Atmospheric thermal tides may prevent synchronous rotation

Post by Lazarus on 9th February 2015, 3:59 pm

Paper on arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1502.01952
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