I'm reading these excellent lecture notes about tidal dissipation, and they mention at some point that the time-dependent part of the tidal potential is approximated by (Eq. 17.1 on the third page):

$$ ~ e\frac{GMR^2}{a^3} $$

Where $M$ is the host planet mass, $R$ is the satellite radius and $a$ is the orbital radius (which I guess it's the semi-major axis since the orbit is eccentric?), and $e$ is the eccentricity as far as I understand.

Can someone shed some light on how they got to this approximation for the tidal potential?



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