Trivia

Hard

The Roche Limit Is A Mathematical Formula That Explains?

Planetary Rings
Ink-Based Fluid Dynamics
Nuclear Decay
Ultraviolet Light
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

Early Bootleg Records Sold In Russia Were Made Of?

Trivia

Easy

The Opposite Of Albinism Is Called?

Trivia

Easy

Concerns Over The Stability Of The Brooklyn Bridge Were Silenced By Marching What Over It?

Trivia

Hard

Apple Keyboards’ Command Key Logo Is Derived From?

Trivia

Hard

The First Of The Iconic Cray Supercomputers Was Installed Where?

Trivia

Hard

The Song With The Most U.S. Radio Play Time In The 2000s Was Performed By?

Trivia

Hard

The First All Digital Film Featuring Performance Captured Actors Was?

Trivia

Hard

What Ornamental Feature Did 19th Century English Aristocrats Keep On Their Estates?

Trivia

Hard

An Early Attempt To Combat VHS Tape Piracy Involved What?

Trivia

Easy

If Alexander Graham Bell Had His Way, We’d Start Telephone Conversations With What?