Dynamical resonances in the asteroid belt are the gateway for the production of near-Earth asteroids(1) (NEAs). To generate the observed number of NEAs, however, requires the injection of many asteroids into those resonant regions. Collisional processes have long been claimed as a possible source(1-3), but difficulties with that idea have led to the suggestion that orbital drift arising from the Yarkovsky effect(4-7) dominates the injection process(8-10). ( The Yarkovsky effect is a force arising from differential heating the 'afternoon' side of an asteroid is warmer than the 'morning' side.) The two models predict different rotational properties of NEAs: the usual collisional theories(2) are consistent with a nearly isotropic distribution of rotation vectors, whereas the 'Yarkovsky model' predicts an excess of retrograde rotations. Here we report that the spin vectors of NEAs show a strong and statistically significant excess of retrograde rotations, quantitatively consistent with the theoretical expectations of the Yarkovsky model.
|Autori:||La Spina A; Paolicchi P; Kryszczynska A; Pravec P|
|Titolo:||Retrograde spins of near-Earth asteroids from the Yarkovsky effect|
|Anno del prodotto:||2004|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1038/nature02411|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|