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S. Musotto (UCLA-Dept. Astronomy, Padova), F. Varadi (IGPP), W. Moore, G. Schubert (UCLA-IGPP)
Short timescale simulations of Io's orbital dynamics coupled to rotational dynamics show the presence of free and forced librations. Since Jupiter is much more massive than the Earth, the periods of the free librations are much shorter for Io than for the Moon. The period of Io's free zero longitude libration is about 13 days, while the period of the same libration is 2.9 yr for the Moon. Our simulations also reproduce the wobble of the lunar pole, with a period of about 75 years. The analogous variation in the pole direction of Io has a period of about 230 days. A number of additional simulations are being carried out to determine the most likely rotational state of Io as the end-state of tidal evolution.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.