Spin Rate of Asteroid (54509) YORP Increasing due to the YORP Effect

Patrick A. Taylor, J. L. Margot, D. Vokrouhlicky, D. J. Scheeres, P. Pravec, S. C. Lowry, A. Fitzsimmons, M. C. Nolan, S. J. Ostro, L. A. Benner, J. D. Giorgini, C. Magri

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Arecibo S-band (2380 MHz, 13 cm) and Goldstone X-band (8560 MHz, 3.5 cm) radar observations from 2001, 2004, and 2005 [1] along with precise optical observations [2] reveal that the observed change in spin rate of near-Earth asteroid (54509) YORP, formerly 2000 PH5, is due to the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect, a torque due to sunlight. The increase in sidereal spin rate of (2.0 ± 0.2) x 10-4 deg/day2 [2], equivalently a shortening of the sidereal spin period by just over one millisecond per year, is in reasonable agreement with theoretical predictions for the YORP acceleration of a body with the radar-determined size, shape, and spin state of asteroid (54509) YORP. The detection of asteroid spin-up supports the YORP effect as an explanation for the anomalous distribution of spin rates for asteroids under 10 km in diameter and as a binary formation mechanism. [1] P. A. Taylor et al., Science, 316, 2007. [2] S. C. Lowry et al., Science, 316, 2007.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2007


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