Astrophysics (Index)About

tidal heating

(tidal working, tidal flexing)
(heating due to friction from motions caused by tidal force)

Tidal heating is heating from friction due to movements within a body due to tidal forces. The process is also called tidal working or tidal flexing. Tidal heating is one of the sources of heat in a body undergoing tidal force, for example, providing the heat to allow liquid water to exist in some solar system moons even though they are at sufficient distance that sunlight would provide insufficient heat.

Such tidal forces and heating occur if a body is not tidally locked with a body it is orbiting, resulting in different parts of it facing the other body, thus being closest to it, over time. They also occur when the if an orbit is eccentric, a condition that orbital resonances can promote, and which has given some moons of Jupiter and Saturn sufficient warmth to harbor subsurface liquid water.

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
habitable zone (HZ)
inflated radii
tidal migration