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54509 YORP

54509 YORP

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54509 YORP is an Apollo
Apollo asteroid
The Apollo asteroids are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after 1862 Apollo, the first asteroid of this group to be discovered by Karl Wilhelm Reinmuth...

 Near-Earth Object
Near-Earth object
A near-Earth object is a Solar System object whose orbit brings it into close proximity with the Earth. All NEOs have a perihelion distance less than 1.3 AU. They include a few thousand near-Earth asteroids , near-Earth comets, a number of solar-orbiting spacecraft, and meteoroids large enough to...

 (NEO) discovered on August 3, 2000 by the Lincoln Laboratory Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR
Linear
In mathematics, a linear map or function f is a function which satisfies the following two properties:* Additivity : f = f + f...

) Team at Socorro
Socorro, New Mexico
Socorro is a city in Socorro County in the U.S. state of New Mexico. It stands in the Rio Grande Valley at an elevation of . The population was 9,051 at the 2010 census...

. Measurements of the rotation rate of this object provided the first observational evidence of the YORP effect
Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack effect
The Yarkovsky–O'Keefe–Radzievskii–Paddack effect, or YORP effect for short, is a second-order variation on the Yarkovsky effect which changes the rotation rate of a small body . The term was coined by Dr. David P...

, hence the name of the asteroid. The asteroid's rate of rotation is increasing at the rate of (2.0 ± 0.2) × 10−4 deg/day2 which between 2001 and 2005 caused the asteroid to rotate about 250° further than its spin rate in 2001 would have predicted. Simulations of the asteroid suggest that it may reach a rotation period of ~20 seconds near the end of its expected lifetime. The simulations also ruled out the possibility that close encounters with the Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

have been the cause of the increased spin rate.