Consequences of Tidal Dissipation in a Putative Venusian Ocean

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The solar tide in an ancient Venusian ocean is simulated using a dedicated numerical tidal model. Simulations with varying ocean depth and rotational periods ranging from -243 to 64 sidereal Earth days are used to calculate the tidal dissipation rates and associated tidal torque. The results show that the tidal dissipation could have varied by more than 5 orders of magnitude, from 0.001--780 Gigawatts, depending on rotational period and ocean depth. The associated tidal torque is about 2 orders of magnitude below the present day Venusian atmospheric torque, and could change the Venusian day length by up to 72 days per million years depending on rotation rate. Consequently, an ocean tide on ancient Venus could have had significant effects on the rotational history of the planet. These calculations have implications for the rotational periods of similarly close-in exoplanetary worlds and the location of the inner edge of the liquid water habitable zone


  • planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL22
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2019

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