June 17, 2015

Trans-neptunian objects and their moonlets

The icy Trans-neptunian objects and their moonlets are of low mass (as compared to our Moon of .16 earth mass), and hence of weak gravitational field. How then can such assumed broken off ( blasted off?) ice pieces of parent object be gravitationally bound? Does 2-body inverse square description suffice in such gravitational description? Perhaps considering the gravitational potential and it’s inverse fall off, together with close in inverse cube tidal gravitational interactions, might be more descriptive, and consistent with orbital dynamics? That is the close in moonlets have an inverse cube tidal gravitational description; whereas further out moonlets have just a inverse change in gravitational potential i.e. a more gradual drop off in curvature – loosely like slow roll inflation? Likwise for a hot Jupiter system with an Oort like cloud?

In contrast, is the traditonal inverse square gravitational interaction just a coarser approximation as opposed to above composite description?

Largest Trans-neptunian objects TNOs


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