Tidally Locked Planet

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Recently, an international team of astronomers and astrophysicists has confirmed the first known observance of a tidally locked super-Earth exoplanet.

About Tidally locked Planet:

  • A tidally-locked planet in its orbit around a star keeps the same face towards the star. This happens when the rotation period of the planet around its own axis becomes equal to its revolution period around the star.
  • On a tidally locked planet, one side is always facing a star while the other is cloaked in perpetual darkness. The dark side could be so cold that water and would-be atmospheric components (e.g., carbon dioxide, nitrogen, or methane) are frozen, certainly an inhospitable environment for life.
  • Examples of Tidal Locking:
    • The Moon is tidally locked to the Earth because it rotates in exactly the same time as it takes to orbit the Earth. That is why we only see one side of the Moon.
    • Pluto-Charon system: Here both bodies are of comparable size and are close together, both bodies can be tidally locked to each other
  • Tidal locking does influence how a planet moves, because tidal locking slows down its spin.
  • This phenomenon of tidal locking can happen with other bodies in space too, as astronomers often say that binary stars or star systems that have two stars at their center, are most likely tidally locked to each other.

 Q1: What is Total Solar Eclipse?

A total solar eclipse is a condition when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth and completely blocks the Sun's disk, casting a huge shadow on the surface

Source : First tidally locked super-Earth exoplanet confirmed