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View Full Version : What will it be like on Triton?



Tom Mazanec
2005-Apr-10, 11:43 AM
In a billion years or so, when it enters Neptune's Roche radius? Will it just burst like a world sized bomb? Will there be ever growing tritonquakes and volcanoes? Will you and everything else just slowly rise up like the flying nun, as the moon "melts" like a sugar cube in coffee? Will it simply break in two pieces, then four, eight, sixteen...?

Padawan
2005-Apr-10, 12:30 PM
Io is very close to Jupiter (probably not within the Roche limit), but the gravitational pull is so great that Io is literally being torn inside out.

Though Neptune doesnt have as much mass, I suspect that the same kind of effect will be on Triton. I don't know if Triton will break up totally before colliding with Neptune. Perhaps someone else could make an educated guess? I want to know myself :)

Ilya
2005-Apr-10, 06:28 PM
In a billion years or so, when it enters Neptune's Roche radius? ... Will you and everything else just slowly rise up like the flying nun, as the moon "melts" like a sugar cube in coffee?

Yes, that's pretty much it. Another metaphor I heard was "pancakes separating". Triton will begin to break up when the tidal force pulling it apart is BARELY above its own gravity holding Triton together. Consequently, relative acceleration of pieces separating will be very small.

And Io is not inside Jupiter's Roche limit. If it were, it would not be Io any more -- it would be a ring.