Equilibrium Nonsynchronous Rotation of Titan

William D. Sears, Jonathan I. Lunine, Richard Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A satellite on an eccentric orbit experiences a zero net tidal torque when the rotation is slightly faster than synchronous, if there is no significant permanent asymmetry. Calculations indicate that for Titan this period should be 15.82 to 15.93 days, depending on the tidal dissipation model. This range includes the period recently determined by radar observations. A water-ice highland plateau with a diameter of less than 180 km standing just above the expected hydrocarbon ocean is consistent with both the radar data and the asymmetry constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-262
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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