Tidally Locked

Also known as gravitational locking or captured rotation, tidal locking is the name given to the phenomenon that takes place when an object’s orbital period matches its rotational period. A tidally-locked object revolving around another object constantly faces its “partner”, presenting only one side as it continues its orbit. Tidal locking is the reason behind the far side of the Moon, the astronomical body’s hemisphere that always faces away from Earth. In other words, the fact that the Moon is tidally-locked to Earth means, from Earth, only one side of the Moon is ever visible.

Tidal locking is also believed to reduce the possibility of complex lifeforms existing on the surface.

Originally published in the first issue of Cloudthroat (Albuquerque, NM: December 2016), ‘Tidally Locked’ applies the definition of this concept in celestial mechanics to represent the unyielding effects of trauma(s).

Tidally Locked (poem)


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