Impact of the frequency dependence of tidal Q on the evolution of planetary systems

P. Auclair-Desrotour, C. Le Poncin-Lafitte, S. Mathis
2014 Astronomy and Astrophysics  
Context. Tidal dissipation in planets and in stars is one of the key physical mechanisms that drive the evolution of planetary systems. Aims. Tidal dissipation properties are intrisically linked to the internal structure and the rheology of studied celestial bodies. The resulting dependence of the dissipation upon the tidal frequency is strongly different in the cases of solids and fluids. Methods. We compute the tidal evolution of a two-body coplanar system, using the tidal quality factor's
more » ... quency-dependencies appropriate to rocks and to convective fluids. Results. The ensuing orbital dynamics comes out smooth or strongly erratic, dependent on how the tidal dissipation depends upon frequency. Conclusions. We demonstrate the strong impact of the internal structure and of the rheology of the central body on the orbital evolution of the tidal perturber. A smooth frequency-dependence of the tidal dissipation renders a smooth orbital evolution while a peaked dissipation can furnish erratic orbital behaviour.
doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201322782 fatcat:d32yfb2uxjfwvmpu4acjbbyqti