1. These are the things that keep me up at night.

The Moon is gradually moving away from the Earth at a rate of a few cm a year. This has the additional effect of causing the Earth to rotate on its axis more slowly. Eventually the Earth will find itself tidally locked with the Moon. Both bodies will show only one face to each other.

So here's the question, in several parts. 1) What will be the distance from the Earth to the Moon when they become tidally locked together? 2) How long will this take? 3) Since there is also a tide from the Sun (although smaller than the tide from the Moon) I presume that the Earth will become tidally locked to the Sun. How long will this take? and 4)will the Earth's orbital radius increase and if so by how much?

I'm working on the math on my own, but I thought I'd see what you guys can come up with.

Thanks

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I don't have the answers...but I have another question...

Think about the day, ever so long ago, when the moon *first* became tidally locked to the earth. It was rotating, but more and more slowly...

Does it just slow down to a complete halt, or is there a period of nutation, rocking forward and backward, perhaps as the earth tugs at some largish gravitational unevenness somewhere in the moon's crust?

Is it an asymptotical decline, or is there a "catastrophe" of some sort?

I've been thinking on this for some time, but don't know how to put together the model...

Silas

3. On 2002-03-13 11:11, Silas wrote:
Does it just slow down to a complete halt, or is there a period of nutation, rocking forward and backward, perhaps as the earth tugs at some largish gravitational unevenness somewhere in the moon's crust?
Are you familiar with lunar libration? The moon still does not maintain an absolutely constant orientation with respect to the Earth. Its rotation is nearly constant, but its orbit is not circular--so it moves faster in some parts of orbit, and the rotation cannot compensate.

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for those who doubt libration of lunation...

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for those who doubt libration of lunation...
Cool pic, but it's giving me a headache.

6. Back to the original question, I quote from the ultimate authority -- namely, our own BA in his new book.

He discusses tidal evolution, that is, the way the tides affect the Earth-Moon system. He explains that Earth's rotation is slowing, and that eventually it will rotate once a month, keeping the same face toward the moon at all times.

But...
...by the time all this happens, the Sun will be well on its way to turning into a red giant, frying the Earth and the Moon.
This suggests we're talking about several billion years.

7. This suggests we're talking about several billion years.
I'll buy that, but the geek in me wants more concrete figures.

I've lost the links I had to some pages that more completely dealt with the Earth-Moon tidal system and the forces invoved. Anyone still have them?

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Glad to meet all of you. This being my first post (perhaps last) please forgive any faux pas.

This is to address the first post by Geo3gh.

"These are the things that keep me up at night."
Perhaps you are asking the wrong questions. Sorry!
BTW I never sleep well.

"The Moon is gradually moving away from the Earth at a rate of a few cm a year."
The Earth-Moon system moving apart by 3-4 cm per year is experimental fact.

However the following is (astronomy book) conjecture:
"This has the additional effect of causing the Earth to rotate on its axis more slowly. Eventually the Earth will find itself tidally locked with the Moon. Both bodies will show only one face to each other."

The facts are:
The Moon does run slow (recession of nodes), however there is no evidence that it is "slowing".
The Earth does run slow (leap second), again there is no evidence that it is "slowing".
I'm not completely sure on this, but I don't believe that the gravitational mass can effect the rotation of the inertial mass.
If you locate the center of gravity of a mass (point around which all its weight is equally distributed) and then suspend that mass from that point it will be in perfect balance and will not rotate, or will continue to rotate indefinitely. The Earth's center of gravity suspends the Moon's center of gravity and vice versa. Thus the Earth cannot rotate the Moon, and the Moon cannot rotate the Earth. Furthermore, tides are internal to a system so therefore they cannot change the angular momentum of the system.

"3) Since there is also a tide from the Sun (although smaller than the tide from the Moon) I presume that the Earth will become tidally locked to the Sun. How long will this take?"

Forever!
If the Earth were locked to the Sun, the Moon were locked to the Earth, and the Earth were locked to the Moon, the Earth Moon system would no-longer rotate the Moon would crash straight down and the Earth and Moon would become one mass:-)

Gary

9. On 2002-03-18 10:28, Gary Redmond wrote:
Glad to meet all of you. This being my first post (perhaps last) please forgive any faux pas.

This is to address the first post by Geo3gh.

"These are the things that keep me up at night."
Perhaps you are asking the wrong questions. Sorry!
BTW I never sleep well.

"The Moon is gradually moving away from the Earth at a rate of a few cm a year."
The Earth-Moon system moving apart by 3-4 cm per year is experimental fact.

However the following is (astronomy book) conjecture:
"This has the additional effect of causing the Earth to rotate on its axis more slowly. Eventually the Earth will find itself tidally locked with the Moon. Both bodies will show only one face to each other."

The facts are:
The Moon does run slow (recession of nodes), however there is no evidence that it is "slowing".
The Earth does run slow (leap second), again there is no evidence that it is "slowing".
I'm not completely sure on this, but I don't believe that the gravitational mass can effect the rotation of the inertial mass.
If you locate the center of gravity of a mass (point around which all its weight is equally distributed) and then suspend that mass from that point it will be in perfect balance and will not rotate, or will continue to rotate indefinitely. The Earth's center of gravity suspends the Moon's center of gravity and vice versa. Thus the Earth cannot rotate the Moon, and the Moon cannot rotate the Earth. Furthermore, tides are internal to a system so therefore they cannot change the angular momentum of the system.

"3) Since there is also a tide from the Sun (although smaller than the tide from the Moon) I presume that the Earth will become tidally locked to the Sun. How long will this take?"

Forever!
If the Earth were locked to the Sun, the Moon were locked to the Earth, and the Earth were locked to the Moon, the Earth Moon system would no-longer rotate the Moon would crash straight down and the Earth and Moon would become one mass:-)

Gary
Actually, the Earth's rotation IS slowing. See http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/tides.html for a discussion on this.

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On 2002-03-13 13:53, Wiley wrote:
for those who doubt libration of lunation...
Cool pic, but it's giving me a headache.
It's an AWSOME pic, and the headache is worth it! [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

On 2002-03-18 10:28, Gary Redmond wrote:
If you locate the center of gravity of a mass (point around which all its weight is equally distributed) and then suspend that mass from that point it will be in perfect balance and will not rotate, or will continue to rotate indefinitely. The Earth's center of gravity suspends the Moon's center of gravity and vice versa. Thus the Earth cannot rotate the Moon, and the Moon cannot rotate the Earth. Furthermore, tides are internal to a system so therefore they cannot change the angular momentum of the system.
The total angular momentum stays the same, but the Earth's momenutum is less and the moon's is more. The slowing of the Earth in ancient times has been established by referencing daily and yearly coral growth patterns, and also by study of ancient eclipse observation.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: GrapesOfWrath on 2002-03-20 11:09 ]</font>

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I did this whole calculation as part of my PhD oral exam back in 1995. Let's see how much I remember. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

On 2002-03-18 10:28, Gary Redmond wrote:

However the following is (astronomy book) conjecture:
"This has the additional effect of causing the Earth to rotate on its axis more slowly. Eventually the Earth will find itself tidally locked with the Moon. Both bodies will show only one face to each other."
Um, well, it's not so much conjecture as extrapolation.

The facts are:
The Moon does run slow (recession of nodes), however there is no evidence that it is "slowing".
The Earth does run slow (leap second), again there is no evidence that it is "slowing".
Both not true. Think about it, if the moon is moving further away, it *has* to slow down. Kepler's third law.

I'm not completely sure on this, but I don't believe that the gravitational mass can effect the rotation of the inertial mass.
If you locate the center of gravity of a mass (point around which all its weight is equally distributed) and then suspend that mass from that point it will be in perfect balance and will not rotate, or will continue to rotate indefinitely. The Earth's center of gravity suspends the Moon's center of gravity and vice versa. Thus the Earth cannot rotate the Moon, and the Moon cannot rotate the Earth.
This is imprecisely stated. First of all, neither the earth nor the moon are spherically symmetric. It is the *torque* produced by the tidal bulges that drags
on the two bodies and changes the angular momentum of the joint system (torque = dL/dt). See below.

Furthermore, tides are internal to a system so therefore they cannot change the angular momentum of the system.
No. I think about it this way: the tides cause a deformation of the earth along the direction of the earth-moon axis. However, the earth does not have perfect elasticity, so as it rotates, the bulges are pulled ahead of the earth-moon axis. Therefore, if you look at the force the bulges exert on the moon (Newton's third law), that force is mis-aligned with said axis. Therefore, the torque (|t| = |r x F| = |r||F|sin(theta)) is non-zero, therefore the angular momentum of the system changes. This will manifest in two ways: the earth's rotation period will slow and the moon will shift into a higher orbit and revolve more slowly.

"3) Since there is also a tide from the Sun (although smaller than the tide from the Moon) I presume that the Earth will become tidally locked to the Sun. How long will this take?"

Forever!
If the Earth were locked to the Sun, the Moon were locked to the Earth, and the Earth were locked to the Moon, the Earth Moon system would no-longer rotate the Moon would crash straight down and the Earth and Moon would become one mass:-)
No. It's still rotating, it's just that from the point of view of an observer on the earth, the moon would *appear* to hover over the same spot on the earth. By your argument, geostationary satellites should come crashing down. When the earth/moon system tidally locks, the moon will be at the geosynchronous orbit, which will be about 12 times further out than current geosynchronous orbits, or half a million km. I remember that the asymptotic value for the final rotation period is about 42 (current) days. Douglas Adams would have been so proud. The moon is currently about 3.8e5 km, so if its drift away is linear (which it isn't), it would take about 3 billion years to drift that far. Actually, it will take much longer, since the drift rate will slow down as the moon drifts away and the torque decreases.

I haven't ever tried to calculate what will happen when the earth-moon system tidally locks with the sun. Safe to say it's not going to happen for a long, long time, but let me think about it...

My instinct is that over the long haul, the tiny tidal bulge will work towards locking the earth with the sun, which will cause the earth to move away (Neptune is demonstrably moving away from the sun, which is why Pluto and other KBOs are trapped in resonance orbits with Neptune) and slow down, which will in turn cause the moon to slow down and move away from the earth to keep up. Unless the moon is orbiting in the opposite sense, which I don't remember off the top of my head. Anyway, I suspect that eventually the moon will get stripped off the earth into its own solar orbit, but I haven't tried to caluclate that for sure.

I have to go to a meeting,

Don

13. I haven't ever tried to calculate what will happen when the earth-moon system tidally locks with the sun. Safe to say it's not going to happen for a long, long time, but let me think about it...

My instinct is that over the long haul, the tiny tidal bulge will work towards locking the earth with the sun, which will cause the earth to move away (Neptune is demonstrably moving away from the sun, which is why Pluto and other KBOs are trapped in resonance orbits with Neptune) and slow down, which will in turn cause the moon to slow down and move away from the earth to keep up. Unless the moon is orbiting in the opposite sense, which I don't remember off the top of my head. Anyway, I suspect that eventually the moon will get stripped off the earth into its own solar orbit, but I haven't tried to caluclate that for sure.

I have to go to a meeting,

Don
I found this from Phil's page on tides. Warning, lots o' math, but it's good.

http://www.jal.cc.il.us/~mikolajsawicki/tides_new2.pdf

Here's a bit on what it has on my question:

...the Moon speeds up in its orbit and moves away from the Earth, at the rate of some 4 meters per 100 years, and the orbital period of the Moon increases too. However, since the orbital period of the Moon increases at smaller rate than the length of the day does, both periods will eventually match. The Earth will be then tidally locked with the Moon, and the length of the day and the month will both be equal to some 50 present days, with the same side of Earth always facing the Moon. Note that the same side of the Moon already always faces the Earth, as the tidal action of the Earth on the Moon caused the Moon’s original spin to slow down, and Moon became tidally locked with the Earth long time ago, in the sense that the Moon spins once on its axis for each revolution around the Earth.

Once the Earth becomes tidally locked with the Moon, the solar tides will tend to slow the Earth’s rotation even more, so that the day will be longer than the month and the Moon will rise in the West and set in the East. The water spheroid generated by the Sun will cause the high tide to appear earlier than the time of highest moon, a situation exactly opposite to that of Fig. 2. Then the tidal force of Earth on the Moon will slow the Moon down in its orbit, forcing the Moon into a lower orbit until and eventually inside the Roche limit (18500 km), whereupon the Moon will disintegrate producing a ring around the Earth.
Wheee! We get a ring!! OK, we'll all be dead by then, but it's the principle of the thing.

[img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Geo3gh on 2002-03-18 15:44 ]</font>

14. On 2002-03-18 15:24, DoctorDon wrote:
On 2002-03-18 10:28, Gary Redmond wrote:
If the Earth were locked to the Sun, the Moon were locked to the Earth, and the Earth were locked to the Moon, the Earth Moon system would no-longer rotate the Moon would crash straight down and the Earth and Moon would become one mass:-)
No. It's still rotating, it's just that from the point of view of an observer on the earth, the moon would *appear* to hover over the same spot on the earth. By your argument, geostationary satellites should come crashing down.
I think what he was talking about is a situation where both are locked together with the sun--but there is a couple of lagrange points with that criteria.

15. Hmmm... maybe we should anticipate the future Earth-Moon configuration, and go to a 50-day month right now. Each year is 7 months long, with 15 holidays - say, two between each pair of months, with an extra one thrown in at solstice time.

The months could be ten weeks of five days each. Three working days and two weekend days?

I'm starting to like this a lot!

I don't know where I ran across this, but...
I remember that when I was a kid I learned your out-then-back-in projection for tidal evolution, but I've recently read (wish I remembered where) that it's no longer expected to work that way. Possibly because it takes so long for the outbound leg that the sun does its red giant bit in the meantime, which seems likely to throw a monkey wrench into the whole scenario... but I don't know if that's the right explanation.

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On 2002-03-18 18:55, Donnie B. wrote:
I remember that when I was a kid I learned your out-then-back-in projection for tidal evolution,
Well, it's not *my* out and back again model.
I don't see how slowing the system down further would cause the moon to come back in and speed up. Wait a minute.... the earth's tidal bulges lead the moon, increasing its angular momentum and causing it to move out and slow down. If the earth's bulges were to lag the moon, it would want to *decrease* the moon's angular momentum, causing it to move in and speed up. This would cause the earth to speed up again, because the time scale for earth-moon locking is so much shorter for earth-sun locking.

Okay. I'm convinced. :-)

but I've recently read (wish I remembered where) that it's no longer expected to work that way. Possibly because it takes so long for the outbound leg that the sun does its red giant bit in the meantime, which seems likely to throw a monkey wrench into the whole scenario... but I don't know if that's the right explanation.
Well that's *certainly* true. I don't know if that's the explanation you were thinking of, but it's definitely true.

Don Smith

17. but I've recently read (wish I remembered where) that it's no longer expected to work that way. Possibly because it takes so long for the outbound leg that the sun does its red giant bit in the meantime, which seems likely to throw a monkey wrench into the whole scenario... but I don't know if that's the right explanation.
Well that's *certainly* true. I don't know if that's the explanation you were thinking of, but it's definitely true.

Don Smith
Darn. And here I was preparing for the spectacle of having our own ring system.

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but I've recently read (wish I remembered where) that it's no longer expected to work that way. Possibly because it takes so long for the outbound leg that the sun does its red giant bit in the meantime, which seems likely to throw a monkey wrench into the whole scenario... but I don't know if that's the right explanation.
Well that's *certainly* true. I don't know if that's the explanation you were thinking of, but it's definitely true.

Don Smith
Well if the Moon is in geosynch orbit at 432,000km (12 x 36,000km) for a 42 hour day and it takes more than 3 billion years to reach that point, it would likely be very near there when the Sun becomes a red giant. At that distance, the escape velocty from the Earth isn't terribly great, so I have little doubt that the Moon would be stripped from the Earth, even if the Earth manages to survive the Sun's red giant phase.

Of course, people living on the tropical moon Europa would not care much about such a lifeless world as the Earth by then, especially since the lifeless Mercury and Venus would have been consumed by the Sun long ago.

19. Well, it's not *my* out and back again model.
I don't see how slowing the system down further would cause the moon to come back in and speed up. Wait a minute.... the earth's tidal bulges lead the moon, increasing its angular momentum and causing it to move out and slow down. If the earth's bulges were to lag the moon, it would want to *decrease* the moon's angular momentum, causing it to move in and speed up. This would cause the earth to speed up again, because the time scale for earth-moon locking is so much shorter for earth-sun locking.

Okay. I'm convinced. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]
That's general situation when a moon orbits the planet faster than the planet rotates. Phobos does that, except it is inside Mars' Roche limit already, so the fact Phobos is holding together implies it is a solid rock rather than a rubble pile. In any case, I read that Phobos will crash into Mars in 40 million years.

BTW, if a moon orbits the planet against the planet's rotation, the tides also bring the moon closer. In 100 million years Triton will reach Neptune's Roche limit and will become a spectacular ring...

20. In 100 million years Triton will reach Neptune's Roche limit and will become a spectacular ring...
You know, that's the problem with astronomy. It takes way too long for the cool things to happen locally for my Gen X attention span.

21. Be grateful... you got to see a comet smack Jupiter right in the kisser...

[img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

22. On 2002-03-19 15:01, Donnie B. wrote:
Be grateful... you got to see a comet smack Jupiter right in the kisser...

[img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
Yeah, you're right. I've got to learn to count my blessings.

But ignoring the fact that the Sun will be a red giant at the time, when the Earth-Moon system get to the point that the Moon starts orbiting faster and therefore closer, and then hits the Roche Limit, how long do you suppose it takes for the Moon to break up and form a ring? [Ugh, that's a nasty looking run-on.] I think the Moon in mid break-up would be a fascinating sight.

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On 2002-03-19 15:07, Geo3gh wrote:
On 2002-03-19 15:01, Donnie B. wrote:
Be grateful... you got to see a comet smack Jupiter right in the kisser...

[img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
Yeah, you're right. I've got to learn to count my blessings.

But ignoring the fact that the Sun will be a red giant at the time, when the Earth-Moon system get to the point that the Moon starts orbiting faster and therefore closer, and then hits the Roche Limit, how long do you suppose it takes for the Moon to break up and form a ring? [Ugh, that's a nasty looking run-on.] I think the Moon in mid break-up would be a fascinating sight.
I'll be sure to take photos of it from my really huge telescope while I'm enjoying the beach party from a terraformed planet in the habitable zone of a nearby red dwarf star. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

Of course, that's assuming that that whole downloading my brain into an android thing gets done before I kick off this mortal coil. I can dream, can't I?

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These folks: http://www.cryonics.org will keep you frozen until your android body is ready.

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On 2002-03-18 15:24, DoctorDon wrote:

"I did this whole calculation as part of my PhD oral exam back in 1995."

Interesting, I left Michigan in 1960.

I must stand by the word "conjecture", and find fault with "extrapolation".

The facts *again* are:
The Moon does run slow (recession of nodes), however there is no evidence that it is "slowing".
The Earth does run slow (leap second), again there is no evidence that it is "slowing". The word "slowing" is conjecture.

How could you extrapolate a stoppage when you have no proof of slowing?

"Both not true. Think about it, if the moon is moving further away, it *has* to slow down. Kepler's third law."

The Earth goes around the Sun, the Moon goes around the Earth, which goes faster? What about Newton's first law, if a body is put in motion at a speed which is to slow, it will continue to fall farther and farther behind:-)
What if when the Moon came to orbit Earth it was going to slow, would it not fall farther and farther away until such time as its given speed satisfied the orbital radius. (recession of nodes)
Also *suppose* that the Moon came to Earth with its speed fixed (as per Newton), and *suppose* that speed to be to slow, hence the Moon would tug the Earth from a true solar orbit. (leap second)

Let me repeat myself.
If you locate the *center of gravity* of a mass (point around which all its weight is equally distributed), and then suspend that mass from that point it will be in perfect balance and will not rotate, or will continue to rotate indefinitely. The Earth's *center of gravity* suspends the Moon's *center of gravity* and vice versa.
Thus the Earth cannot torque the Moon, and the Moon cannot torque the Earth.

Bulges and torque are irrelevant:-(

Gary

PS We have talked of the Earth and Moon slowing, Newton said for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Where is the speed up?
Just joking I know the *pat* answer.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Gary Redmond on 2002-03-20 11:56 ]</font>

26. On 2002-03-20 10:03, Gary Redmond wrote:
The facts *again* are:
The Moon does run slow (recession of nodes), however there is no evidence that it is "slowing".
The Earth does run slow (leap second), again there is no evidence that it is "slowing". The word "slowing" is conjecture.

How could you extrapolate a stoppage when you have no proof of slowing?
There is definitely evidence of slowing. I referred to that evidence in this post. The evidence is fairly conclusive, seems to me.

27. On 2002-03-20 10:03, Gary Redmond wrote:

I must stand by the word "conjecture", and find fault with "extrapolation".

The facts *again* are:
The Moon does run slow (recession of nodes), however there is no evidence that it is "slowing".
The Earth does run slow (leap second), again there is no evidence that it is "slowing". The word "slowing" is conjecture.

How could you extrapolate a stoppage when you have no proof of slowing?
We do have evidence of both.

First, we know that the Moon is getting farther away from the Earth--its orbital distance is increasing.

"Lunar laser ranging establishes the current rate of retreat of the moon from Earth at 3.82±0.07 cm/year."
-- The Talk.Origins Website http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/moonrec.html)

By orbital mechanics we see that the Moon's orbital period has to be slowing down as well. So, yes, the lunations are getting longer.

We also know that in the past, the length of the day was shorter. For instance, Devonian corals show 400 growth rings per year. Assuming that the year was the same length (in seconds) then we are looking at a 22 hour day.
--Myths about Gravity and Tides http://www.jal.cc.il.us/~mikolajsawicki/tides_new2.pdf

So again, yes, the days are getting longer.

The evidence is out there, so I disagree with your calling all this conjecture.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Geo3gh on 2002-03-21 10:35 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Geo3gh on 2002-03-21 10:36 ]</font>

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On 2002-03-20 10:03, Gary Redmond wrote:
On 2002-03-18 15:24, DoctorDon wrote:

"I did this whole calculation as part of my PhD oral exam back in 1995."

Interesting, I left Michigan in 1960.
I did my PhD at MIT; I've been at Michigan as a post-doc about a year and a half now.

The facts *again* are:
There's no need to repeat yourself. Your previous post is archived here, you know.

And you're still wrong. Just plain factually wrong. I'm sorry, but these effects are measurable, have been measured, and are on record. I'm baffled by your insistence that they aren't.

The Earth goes around the Sun, the Moon goes around the Earth, which goes faster?
What does the Earth's motion around the sun have to do with this?

What about Newton's first law, if a body is put in motion at a speed which is to slow, it will continue to fall farther and farther behind:-)
What if when the Moon came to orbit Earth it was going to slow, would it not fall farther and farther away until such time as its given speed satisfied the orbital radius. (recession of nodes)
Also *suppose* that the Moon came to Earth with its speed fixed (as per Newton), and *suppose* that speed to be to slow, hence the Moon would tug the Earth from a true solar orbit. (leap second)
I don't care how the moon came to be where it is, I am modelling the system as it is now and extrapolating that motion into the far future.

Let me repeat myself.
Why?

If you locate the *center of gravity* of a mass (point around which all its weight is equally distributed)
Center of gravity is an ill-defined concept. I assume you mean center of mass.

and then suspend that mass from that point it will be in perfect balance and will not rotate, or will continue to rotate indefinitely.
That's a nonsensical statement. Torque *will* change the angular momentum of a system. An ice skater twirls over her center of mass (or else she would tip over), and if she sticks her arms out, she *will* slow down.

The Earth's *center of gravity* suspends the Moon's *center of gravity* and vice versa.
Thus the Earth cannot torque the Moon, and the Moon cannot torque the Earth.

Bulges and torque are irrelevant:-(
I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Since the moon pulls unequally on the near and far bulges of the earth, and since the earth is not perfectly elastic, those bulges will generally be ahead of the earth-moon line, and so there *will* be a net torque on the system. r cross F, man! If r and F are not aligned, the cross product is non-zero! How do you get around that?

Draw the diagram yourself if you don't believe me.

PS We have talked of the Earth and Moon slowing, Newton said for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Where is the speed up?
Just joking I know the *pat* answer.
I don't know what the *pat* answer is, but the *correct* answer is that there is no speed up. For a free-falling body in orbit, to increase the angular momentum it will move to a higher radius, which demands a slowdown in the linear velocity. Angular momentum still increases, though. The tidal torque is transferring angular momentum from the earth's rotation (causing it to slow down) to the moon's revolution (causing it to move to a higher orbit). Net angular momentum is conserved.

Don

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[quote]
On 2002-03-20 14:09, DoctorDon wrote:
On 2002-03-20 10:03, Gary Redmond wrote:
On 2002-03-18 15:24, DoctorDon wrote:
"There's no need to repeat yourself."
Sorry.

"What does the Earth's motion around the sun have to do with this?"
*Speed*. If a body such as the Moon travels a greater distance than the Sun in the same time of one year, which goes faster?

"I don't care how the moon came to be where it is, I am modelling the
system as it is now and extrapolating that motion into the far future."
OK, now do it backward and tell me what you find. What I find is that the Moon somehow had to come into orbit *above* the Roche Limit some time within the last 400 million years. If the Solar system has been here for 5 billion years, where was the Moon those first 4.6 billion?

""Let me repeat myself.""
"Why?"
Sorry again, it just seemed as if my English was bad you didn't understand, and I didn't know how else to say it, perhaps the following will help.

"Center of gravity is an ill-defined concept. I assume you mean center of mass."
Absolutely not! The center of mass (or momentum) is the point around which a mass or system rotates. You are correct about the "ill-defined concept" In my book the center of gravity is described as follows. "The moment about any axis produced by the weight of the body."
In the case of our Earth and Moon their centers of gravity with each other, are quite some distance from their centers of mass. It is these imaginary points that tie them together. Because the Earth and Moon are not homogenous, have (bulges), and rotate, their centers of gravity are constantly moving at the speed of light, and are not usually along the line between their centers of mass. Because this light speed movement of imaginary centers advances from atom to atom there are no handles hence nothing to torque against. Let me say I'm sorry in advance. Your astronomy books lie. There is no torque of the inertial mass by the gravitational mass.
Einstein said it best when he said "In gravitational fields there are no such things as rigid bodies with Euclidean properties; thus the fictitious rigid body of reference is of no avail". When asked why the Inertial and gravitational masses were equivalent Einstein said, "Why not." Please note, they are equivalent but not the same.

"I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Since the moon pulls unequally on the near and far bulges of the earth, and since the earth is not perfectly elastic, those bulges will generally be ahead of the earth-moon line, and so there *will* be a net torque on the system. r cross F, man! If r and F are not aligned, the cross product is non-zero! How do you get around that?"
While the gravitational and inertial masses are equivalent, they work differently and independantly. They both have centers, the sums of the internal forces equal zero and so on. But in large and distant bodies it is appearent that even though the mass is the same the gravitational and inertial workings are different.

Centers of Gravity (C of G)

Imagine this.
Go to the lumber yard.
Find a straight, homogenous, 4 x 4 x 120 inch board [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]
With said board lying on the floor, where is the (C of G)?
60 inchs from either end, 2 inchs from either side, and *about* but lessthan 2 inch off the floor.
Correct?
Stand the board on end (watch the ceiling).
OK, where is the (C of G) now?
2 inchs from eitherside 2 inches front to back, and *about* but lessthan 60 inchs from the floor.

Gravity works on weight, inertia works on mass.

"I don't know what the *pat* answer is, but the *correct* answer is..."
That's close enough for now.

Gary

30. Gary,

Instead of arguing with you head on in physics and mechanics (which is not my strong suit anyhow), I'd like to ask you a related question.

Don and I have both brought out evidence that the moon's orbital radius is indeed increasing (on the order of 3cm/year) and that the length of the day is increasing as well.

What do you say about the evidence? How do you account for it? (I suggest that you not limit yourself to just what was posted here, since there is a lot more that I know of.)

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