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Tidal synchronization of an anelastic multi-layered body. Titan’s synchronous rotation

By SpaceRef Editor
July 5, 2017
Filed under , , ,

Hugo Folonier, Sylvio Ferraz-Mello
(Submitted on 26 Jun 2017)

This paper presents one analytical tidal theory for a viscoelastic multi-layered body with an arbitrary number of homogeneous layers. Starting with the static equilibrium figure, modified to include tide and differential rotation, and using the Newtonian creep approach, we find the dynamical equilibrium figure of the deformed body, which allows us to calculate the tidal potential and the forces acting on the tide generating body, as well as the rotation and orbital elements variations. In the particular case of the two-layer model, we study the tidal synchronization when the gravitational coupling and the friction in the interface between the layers is added. For high relaxation factors (low viscosity), the stationary solution of each layer is synchronous with the orbital mean motion (n) when the orbit is circular, but the spin rates increase if the orbital eccentricity increases. For low relaxation factors (high viscosity), as in planetary satellites, if friction remains low, each layer can be trapped in different spin-orbit resonances with frequencies n/2,n,3n/2,… . We apply the theory to Titan. The main results are: i) the rotational constraint does not allow us confirm or reject the existence of a subsurface ocean in Titan; and ii) the crust-atmosphere exchange of angular momentum can be neglected. Using the rotation estimate based on Cassini’s observation, we limit the possible value of the shell relaxation factor, when a subsurface ocean is assumed, to 10^-9 Hz, which correspond to a shell’s viscosity 10^18 Pa s, depending on the ocean’s thickness and viscosity values. In the case in which the ocean does not exist, the maximum shell relaxation factor is one order of magnitude smaller and the corresponding minimum shell’s viscosity is one order higher.

Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as:    arXiv:1706.08603 [astro-ph.EP]
     (or arXiv:1706.08603v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Hugo Folonier 
[v1] Mon, 26 Jun 2017 21:26:40 GMT (525kb,D)

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