Astrophysics (index)

Yarkovsky Effect

(force on spinning, orbiting objects from asymmetric radiation)

The Yarkovsky Effect is a force on orbiting objects that are spinning when receiving radiation from one direction. The direction of highest thermal radiation from the object is influenced by the object's rotation.

In particular, when the object is a planet orbiting a star, that's spinning in the same direction as the orbit, the thermal radiation boosts the orbit speed, widening the orbit, and when such an object is spinning in the opposite direction, it slows the orbit speed, narrowing the orbit.

The Yarkovsky Effect is now recognized as a significant contributor to orbital migration for objects (planets, Asteroids, etc.) around stars.


Referenced by:
Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack Effect