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|synchronous rotation |
The rotation of an orbiting body on its axis in the same amount of time as it takes to complete a full orbit, with the result that the same face is always turned toward the body it is orbiting. Synchronous rotation is the result of tidal forces that over time slow the rotation of the smaller body until it is synchronized with its period of revolution around the larger body. The Earth's Moon exhibits synchronous rotation, as do a majority of moons in the solar system. Also called captured rotation. Compare synchronous orbit.