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How is the energy transfered back to the Moon

  1. Mar 30, 2009 #1
    I know from reading that the Moon slows down the Earth's rotation by creating friction on the ocean floor by causing the tibes, and as a result of this the Moon gains energy and moves farther out into space. What I don't understand is though, is that when the Earth slows down how does it transfer that energy to the Moon?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2009 #2

    DaveC426913

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    It's not the Earth slowing that transfers energy to the Moon, it's the friction - both ways. If the Earth were a perfect sphere of uniform density, the Moon would not gain energy from it.

    The mountains and other protruberances on the Earth pull on the Moon, giving a kick in the direction of Earth's rotation. This accelerates the Moon in its orbit. Accelerating something in its orbit vqause it to move into a higher orbit
     
  4. Mar 31, 2009 #3
  5. Mar 31, 2009 #4

    DaveC426913

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    Yeah, the second paragraph of that section describes it pretty well, particularly the part about why the tidal bulge of Earth is ahead of the Earth-Moon line, causing the Moon to be pulled forward in its orbit.
     
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