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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (04.18.09): Yarkovsky Effect

Aero-Terms!

Aero-Terms are designed to be a daily reminder of the terms, names, acronyms and explanations of the unique language that populates the aviation world. Aerospace, sport aviation, fixed wing, helo, you name it... it's all fair game.

Aero-Terms should serve as a quick but intriguing reminder of the terms you may use every day, or an introduction to an aspects of the Aero-World you may not yet be familiar with. ANN also encourages readers to go beyond the FMI link, and further research any intriguing terms.

Suggestions for future Aero-Terms are ALWAYS welcome, as are additions or discussion of the explanations given for each Aero-Term.

Yarkovsky Effect

The lob-sided emission of radiation from a rotating object orbiting the Sun, due to uneven heating; named after the Russian engineer I. O. Yarkovsky, who first proposed the idea around 1900. Among other things, it has been used to explain why Earth is hit surprisingly often by meteorites. The uneven heating of a small rock in the asteroid belt by the Sun, which makes the day side warmer than the night side, creates a small force - enough to deflect the object into one of the resonance zones where the combined effect of Jupiter and Saturn's gravity pulls kick objects into the inner solar system. Combined with other, less subtle methods for getting fragments Earth-bound, including asteroid impacts, the newly-proved method appears to account for the total yearly shower of space rocks.

FMI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarkovsky_effect

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