Contact: Elizabeth Zubritsky
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Caption: Planets in eccentric orbits can experience powerful tidal forces. A planet covered by a very thick ice shell (left) is springy enough to flex a great deal, generating a lot of internal friction and heat. Some terrestrial planets (right) also will flex, especially with partially molten inner layers.
Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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Related news release: NASA finds friction from tides could help distant earths survive, and thrive