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Tidal Disruption

  1. Sep 22, 2003 #1
    A comet grazes a planet at a distance R. Show that the planet's tidal force can disrupt the comet is the planet's mean density is greater than that of the comet.


    Now my TA advises me to expand this function about r=R using a taylor series. But c'mon, this is an introductory astronomy class. We're not supposed to know Taylor series!
    But even if I do, I get:
    dr=dist from center of comet
    m=mass of comet
    M=mass of planet

    |____ Is this even right?

    Then I show that F_t>F_sg
    where F_t=?
    F_sg=self gravity=?
    I'm so utterly confused.
    Please feel free to include a lecture on tidal forces and taylor series! Whatever help you can give would be great!
  2. jcsd
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