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Contact: Elizabeth Zubritsky
elizabeth.a.zubritsky@nasa.gov
301-614-5438
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Planets in Eccentric Orbits Can Experience Powerful Tidal Forces

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


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