Re: TIPS angle of separation

From: George Roberts (robertsg@attbi.com)
Date: Sat Aug 02 2003 - 01:25:48 EDT

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    > One other thing, what keeps the line between them taught?
    
    Tidal force.  One object is as close as possible to the earth and the
    other is as far as possible away from the earth.  The closer object
    experiences stronger gravitational pull and pulls against the farther
    object because the closer object wants to "fall" down to earth.
    
    The farther object wants to go to a higher orbit but is held "down"
    by the tether.  Their center of gravity is in a normal orbit.
    
    That's why when there is a near 90 degree pass, they appear to
    get closer together until they appear to touch right overhead.
    Someone reported this a week or two ago.
    
    - George Roberts
    http://www.pobox.com/~gr
    
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