Seidelmann, P. Kenneth Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
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The closest distance that a satellite, revolving around a parent body, can approach the parent without being pulled apart tidally. The simplest formal definition is that the Roche limit is the minimum distance at which a satellite can be in equilibrium under the influence of its own gravitation and that of the central mass about which it is describing a circular orbit. If the satellite is in a circular orbit and has negligible mass, the same density as the primary, and zero tensile strength, the Roche limit is 2.46 times the radius of the primary.
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