Are Venus and Earth in a long distance relationship?

29 Mar 2010

This is the title of an article in New Scientist (you can also look at the online version at March 16th) and speculates on whether the earth is tugging at the core of Venus, exerting control over it's spin. Whenever Venus and Earth arrive at the closest point in their orbits Venus always presents the same face towards us. This may mean Earth's gravity is tugging subtly on Venus, an idea raised many years ago and now disregarded since it was realised Venus was spinning too fast to be in gravitational resonance. However, French research is suggesting that Earth does influence Venus but relies on the planet having a solid core - to account for the fact. Scientists are trying to find an explanation for the Venus-Earth observed inter-action but over at they think they know why. Do they?