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Astron. Astrophys. 338, 353-363 (1998)

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Diurnal Yarkovsky effect as a source of mobility of meter-sized asteroidal fragments

II. Non-sphericity effects

David Vokrouhlický

Institute of Astronomy, Charles University, V Holeovikách 2, CZ-180 00 Prague 8, Czech Republic (vokrouhl@mbox.cesnet.cz)

Received 30 April 1998 / Accepted 1 July 1998


The diurnal Yarkovsky effect, a perturbing force on meter-sized orbiting bodies caused by anisotropic heating and emission of thermal radiation from small spinning solar system bodies, is computed for spheroidal-shaped bodies with an arbitrary flattening. The solution is derived in analytical form for a body which rotates around its axis of symmetry. A numerical solution is presented for the more general case of a precessing body, where the symmetry axis tumbles around a fixed angular momentum vector. In both cases, the obtained Yarkovsky force is compared with the corresponding thermal force acting on a spherical body of the same mass. Differences of up to a factor of 3 are found, depending on the geometric parameters of the body and its rotational state. However, the agreement between the derived force values in the two cases is much better when an average over all possible pole orientations of a tumbling spheroidal body and the solar position over its revolution around the Sun is considered. This result suggests that the simplified formulation of the diurnal Yarkovsky force based on a spherical geometry can be used, without introducing major mistakes, for long-term integrations of the orbits of small asteroidal fragments in the Solar System.

Key words: celestial mechanics, stellar dynamics – minor planets, asteroids

This article contains no SIMBAD objects.


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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: September 8, 1998