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The Yarkovsky Effect

Sunlight can influence the paths asteroids take through the solar system. This animation illustrates how.
Like the planets, asteroids have day and night. As they rotate, sunlight heats the daytime side of the asteroid. However, this heating is asymmetrical. Just as afternoons on sunny days are hotter than mornings, the afternoon side of an asteroid has a warmer surface than the morning side because sunlight has been falling on it longer. Since hot surfaces radiate more than cool ones, the warm afternoon side radiates more than the cool morning side. This imbalance acts like a very weak rocket engine...

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