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Planetary science

Spin control for asteroids

Random collisions between asteroids would seem to cause their spin axes to be tilted in all directions. Surprisingly, the gentle recoil force of thermal re-radiation may bring their spin axes into alignment.

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Figure 1: The Yarkovsky effect.
Figure 2: Spin up, spin down.


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Binzel, R. Spin control for asteroids. Nature 425, 131–132 (2003).

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