Trivia

Hard

The Roche Limit Is A Mathematical Formula That Explains?

Nuclear Decay
Ultraviolet Light
Planetary Rings
Ink-Based Fluid Dynamics
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

In 1992 U.S. Navy Researchers Identified The World’s Loneliest?

Trivia

Hard

Which First Lady Started The White House Tradition Of Themed Christmas Trees?

Trivia

Hard

The Chills You Get When Listening To Music Are Known As?

Trivia

Hard

The Handkerchief Was Popularized By?

Trivia

Easy

Astronauts Use What Inside Their Helmets To Scratch Their Noses?

Trivia

Easy

What Do Scientists Use To Accurately Measure The Distance Between The Earth And The Moon?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Largest Free Concert In History, Based On Attendance, Was A Performance By?

Trivia

Hard

Despite How Foul They Smell, Cities Plant Ginkgo Trees By The Thousands Because They’re?

Trivia

Hard

Bears In Yellowstone National Park Get A Significant Number Of Calories From Eating?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Only Type Of Conifer Tree That Can Produce Viable “Albino” Children Is The?