(also Roche's limit)Astronomy
The closest distance from the center of a planet that a satellite can approach without being pulled apart by the planet's gravitational field.‘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.’
- ‘The magic distance, within which a planet's tidal force exceeds the gravity holding together that kind of vagabond, is called the Roche limit - discovered by the nineteenth-century French astronomer Edouard Albert Roche.’
- ‘A collision which would have ejected material less than the Roche limit would have formed only rings around the earth.’
Late 19th century named after Edouard Albert Roche (1820–83), French mathematician.
Are You Learning English? Here Are Our Top English Tips