The Roche Limit


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Mathematically, the density is defined as the weight divided by the volume.

Roche limit

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The Roche Limit

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Roche limit

Life The inert and the living Living cell Liquid water Are we alone? Roche limit or radius of Roche. Automatic translation. Category: moons Updated June 23, Table: distance of the rings of the solar system relative to the Roche limit. How do you read this table? A ring of Saturn is 1.

The Roche Limit

Now let us make the problem a little more interesting by placing the two masses red and blue in the vicinity of a very large mass yellow. The red and blue masses are still attracted together by the force of gravity. However, they are also attracted to the large yellow mass. Remember that the force of gravity is is very strongly dependent on the distance between the objects. Since the red mass is closer to the large yellow mass, it feels a slightly larger gravitational force that the blue mass feels.

This difference in gravitation forces means that the red mass and the blue mass would tend to move apart. As you can see there are two forces at work on the red and blue masses. The gravitational force between them will attract them together, while the differential gravitational force from the large yellow mass, will separate them.

Can We Combine All Planets Using Roche Limit? - Universe Sandbox²

Which of the two forces will dominate depends on the distance the red and blue masses are from the large yellow mass. If the two smaller masses are far away from the large mass, the attractive force is dominate.


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If the two masses are close to the larger mass the repulsive force will dominate. The border between these two cases is call the Roche Limit. The actual location of the Roche Limit depends on the densities of masses involved.

How to calculate the Roche limit?

For typical objects that we encounter in Astronomy , the location of the Roche Limit is approximately 2. This is measured from the center of the central planet, so it is 1. So what does all of this have to do with rings? Well, the ring systems of the giant planets all lie within the Roche limits of the planets.

The Roche Limit The Roche Limit
The Roche Limit The Roche Limit
The Roche Limit The Roche Limit
The Roche Limit The Roche Limit
The Roche Limit The Roche Limit

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