Tidal & Gravity Factors

12.1 - Be able to identify the operation of each of the following in our Solar System:
- a. gravitational attraction producing regular motion, including the orbits of planets and moons
- b. tidal gravitational forces producing effects, including ring systems, asteroid belts and internal heating
- c. gravitational interactions of multiple bodies producing effects such as gradual shifts in orbits, chaotic motion, resonances and the significance of Lagrangian Points (detailed mathematical descriptions not required)
- d. accidental collisions causing impact craters, changes to orbital motions or planetary orientations
- e. solar wind affecting comets, planetary atmospheres and the heliosphere
12.2 Be able to identify the operation of each of the following interactions in the formation of planets and moons:
- a. the interaction between tidal gravitational and elastic forces to determine whether a body is broken apart (Roche Limit)
- b. the interaction between attractive gravitational and elastic forces in determining a body’s spherical or irregular shape
- c. the interaction between gravitational and thermal factors in determining the presence of an atmosphere

Find out about the operation of these interactions: