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  • Universe

Yarkovsky effect

The Yarkovsky effect, from the name of the Russian who predicted its existence, Ivan Osipovich Yarkovsky (1844–1902), is initially caused by temperature differences on the surface of a rotating body illuminated by a light source such as the Sun. Because the amount of light emitted by the cooling body is not the same over its whole surface, the motion of the body is modified. The effect is very small, but accumulated over millions of years it can become large for small celestial bodies of a size between 10 cm and 10 km.

The so-called Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack effect, or the YORP effect, is a specific consequence of the Yarkovsky effect: it is the acceleration in the spin velocity of a small celestial body.


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