Definition of Roche limit in English:

Roche limit

Line breaks: Roche limit
Pronunciation: /rəʊʃ
 
/
(also Roche's limit)

noun

Astronomy
  • The distance within which the gravitational field of a large body is strong enough to prevent any smaller body from being held together by gravity.
    More example sentences
    • Amalthea is not a rigid body, being inside the Roche limit; but its gravity is more than adequate to hold it together, being 6 times stronger than the forces pulling it apart.
    • At a certain distance near a planet, known as the Roche limit, an object can be literally pulled apart by gravity.
    • Phobos has a number of interesting surface features, including grooves that could be created by the gravity gradient of Mars - Phobos is within Mars's Roche limit - trying to tear the moon apart.

Origin

late 19th century: named after Edouard Albert Roche (1820–83), French mathematician.

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