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Spin Rate of Asteroid (54509) 2000 PH5 Increasing Due to the YORP Effect

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Science  13 Apr 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5822, pp. 274-277
DOI: 10.1126/science.1139038

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Abstract

Radar and optical observations reveal that the continuous increase in the spin rate of near-Earth asteroid (54509) 2000 PH5 can be attributed to the Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effect, a torque due to sunlight. The change in spin rate is in reasonable agreement with theoretical predictions for the YORP acceleration of a body with the radar-determined size, shape, and spin state of 2000 PH5. The detection of asteroid spin-up supports the YORP effect as an explanation for the anomalous distribution of spin rates for asteroids under 10 kilometers in diameter and as a binary formation mechanism.

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