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firefly5 November 7th, 2014 8:20pm

Science Friday (3/5): Asteroids in the asteroid belt have been known to drift inward toward the sun, inspiring the plotline of many books and movies. In the absence of collisions, asteroids may drift outward from the sun as well.

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firefly5 the verse
11/07/14 8:26 pm

seriously, why bother commenting?

firefly5 the verse
11/07/14 1:37 pm


Asteroids spin on some internal axis (generally). This means that, at any given time, one side of the asteroid is being heated, while the other is not. When the heated side turns away from the sun, it emits photons into space. These photons

firefly5 the verse
11/07/14 1:38 pm

carry momentum. Conservation of momentum dictates that the asteroid must then experience a force in the opposite direction of the emitted photons. Thus the direction of the experienced force depends on the direction that the asteroid rotates.

firefly5 the verse
11/07/14 1:39 pm

This is known as the Yarkovsky Effect. It's a very small force, so it has the biggest impact on small asteroids, but remember that over the course of a few million years, these things add up.

11/07/14 1:27 pm

I want to say false just because asteroids don't just suddenly move, they would need a force, and a powerful one at that, to knock them out of the belt

firefly5 the verse
11/07/14 2:00 pm

check this one out; it's pretty cool.

11/08/14 10:53 pm

Huh, had never heard of that. Thats amazing!

WildRice With a side of sass
11/07/14 1:22 pm

What are the answers?!

firefly5 the verse
11/07/14 1:34 pm

I'm working on it!