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Emeritus
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P: 2,977
 Quote by primal schemer How near would you have to be and how large would gravity have to be for tidal forces to rip you apart??
That depends on the strength of our various body parts. In the Newtonian approximation, the force is given by

$$F_t=\frac{2GMm}{r^3}L$$

where L is the length of our body. If the object is a black hole, this goes to:

$$F_t=\frac{c^6m}{4G^2M^2}}L$$

at the event horizon. As I said, however, that's only an approximation.

 that when orbiting Jupiter a comet broke apart due to tidal forces. Does this mean that humans could never go too close to Jupiter???
No, comets are much less tightly bound than humans.