The material that makes up a spinning object experiences a centrifugal force that works against the force of gravity. If the object spins fast enough, this force can pull the object apart, ripping away fragments or even completely destroying the body. This effect is included in Universe Sandbox as of Update 30.
Related Properties & Settings
- The production of all fragments can be turned off using the Fragment toggle in the Sim menu in the bottom bar, or using the Create Fragments toggle in the full Sim Settings Menu. Spin fragmentation (as opposed to collision fragmentation or friction fragmentation) can be individually controlled in the Sim Settings Menu.
- The maximum spin rate of an object depends on its mass and density, as well as the simulation's gravity value.
An object will begin to fragment once its Angular Speed is larger than its maximum spin rate, which depends on the object's mass and density, as well as the value for gravity in the simulation. One the angular speed reaches three times the maximum spin rate, the object will completely disintegrate into fragments; at smaller angular speeds, a smaller remnant object will be left behind.
- See: Holsapple, Keith A. Spin limits of Solar System bodies: From the small fast-rotators to 2003 EL61. Icarus.