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  • Tidal locking occurs when the gravitational gradient makes one side of an astronomical body always face another, an effect known as synchronous rotation. For example, the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth. A tidally locked body takes just as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around its partner. This causes one hemisphere constantly to face the partner body. Usually, at any given time only the satellite is tidally locked around the larger body, because this is the first stage that occurs and it takes a lot more time to also lock the heavier main body to the partner body. But given enough time, eventually each may be tidally locked to the other. This will occur more quickly if the difference in mass between the two bodies and their physical separation is small; which probably helped the fact that this is already the case with Pluto and its moon Charon. This effect is employed to stabilize some artificial satellites.

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