Trivia

Hard

The Roche Limit Is A Mathematical Formula That Explains?

Planetary Rings
Ultraviolet Light
Ink-Based Fluid Dynamics
Nuclear Decay
A photo of Saturn taken from above by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Cornell

Answer: Planetary Rings

The Roche limit is, in the field of celestial mechanics, the distance at which a celestial body—such as a moon, comet, or asteroid—will disintegrate due to the overpowering tidal forces of the larger nearby body.

Objects outside this limit maintain integrity and either pass by the larger celestial object or are captured as a moon or other satellite. Objects within the limit are torn apart by the tidal forces exerted by the larger body and, in most cases, become rings around that planet. Almost all known planetary rings, including those around Jupiter and most of those around Saturn (the E-Ring and Phoebe ring being exceptions), are a result of satellites drifting past the boundary. Once torn apart, there is no chance the smaller parts of the once larger satellite will be able to coalesce back into a larger object as the smaller objects are too firmly controlled by the greater gravitational force of the host body.

The term is named after French astronomer Edouard Roche who first calculated the then theoretical limit in 1848. Later observations confirmed his calculations were correct, and the mass of the planets in our solar system, the distance of their planetary rings (if present), and their moons, conform to the calculations.

Trivia

Hard

Marge Simpson’s Towering Blue Hair Was Originally Intended To Conceal?

Trivia

Very Hard

There Is A Long Standing Folklore Legend In The Balkans Regarding Vampiric What?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Groups Was Most Influential In The Early Adoption Of Paved Roads?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Coffee Brewing Methods Was Invented To Speed Up Coffee Preparation?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Game Console Was Marketed In Korea As The “Super Aladdin Boy”?

Trivia

Hard

The Target Corporation Runs A State-of-the-Art Lab Devoted To What?

Trivia

Hard

The Bearded Vulture Survives Almost Entirely On A Surprising Diet Of?

Trivia

Hard

The Term “Cliffhanger”, To Refer To A Suspenseful But Unresolved Ending Originated With?

Trivia

Easy

Which Public Service Announcement Mascot Has Their Own ZIP Code?

Trivia

Hard

Who Coined The Term Meme?