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Are there any citation or documentation showing the measured degradation of the Moon's equatorial rotation velocity (thus affecting its moon's axial rotation)?

I am looking for the drift of the Moon's axis rotational speed, presumably over 10,000 years or more.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't know of a direct source, but my guess is that the best direct measurement data for determining this would come from Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR). I would start with something like this and follow the citation trails. There is some interesting information on indirect measurements found here, but no specific citations are given. $\endgroup$ – Dave Oct 12 '16 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ what is "axial rotation" ... ? $\endgroup$ – Fattie Oct 12 '16 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ Presumably the motion of the celestial body that is spinning such that an axis gets formed? But I get you, so I'm clarifying the question further. $\endgroup$ – John Greene Oct 13 '16 at 15:05
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Since the Moon is tidally locked to the Earth, it rotates with the same orbital period as it orbits the Earth. Thus, tracking the Moon's rotational velocity is essentially the same thing as measuring the changes in its orbit - if you know one, then you know the other.

The recession of the Moon has been measured using laser ranging (see links in the answer to this question) to be about 3.8 cm / year. From that rate of change of orbital semimajor axis, you could use Kepler's third law to work out a rate of change of the Moon's orbital period, and thus of its rotational period.

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  • $\begingroup$ At what distant from Earth does the Moon not become tidally-locked if the Moon keeps receding away from Earth, if that is what I am understanding from this 3.8cm/yr. $\endgroup$ – John Greene Sep 29 '20 at 12:42
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    $\begingroup$ Since it is already tidally locked, it will stay locked as it recedes. It is receding because of the exchange of angular momentum with Earth, and this exchange changes the Moon’s rotation as well to keep the rotational period and orbital period the same. $\endgroup$ – Eric Jensen Sep 29 '20 at 12:55

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