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Excitation of lunar eccentricity by planetary resonances.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Science
Publisher
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Publication Date
Oct 11, 2007
Volume
318
Issue
5848
Pages
244–244
Identifiers
PMID: 17932291
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The origin of the Moon's nonnegligible orbital eccentricity of 0.053 has no theoretical explanation. Lunar laser ranging indicates that tides on Earth are currently increasing the Moon's eccentricity. However, ocean tides were likely much weaker during the first billion years, allowing lunar tides to damp any primordial lunar eccentricity very early on. During the tidally driven expansion of its orbit, the Moon must have been affected by two substantial resonances related to Jupiter and Venus, passage through which may have generated today's lunar eccentricity.

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