Skip to main content

Influence of the YORP Effect on the Rotation of Small Main-Belt Asteroids


The distribution of rotation rates of small (D = 3–15 km) main-belt asteroids is analyzed in the context of the probable influence of solar radiation on the rotation of asteroids (YORP effect). It is demonstrated that the evolution of this distribution with heliocentric distance (i.e., the presence of well-marked slow and fast rotation excesses in the inner part of the belt, which become less noticeable in the middle part and are almost indistinguishable in the outer part) is well accounted for by the YORP effect. The influence of this effect on the studied asteroid population is rather weak compared to its influence on near-Earth asteroids, which are 3–4 times smaller on average and with ~3 times more intense solar irradiation; however, it is still sufficiently significant to be identified reliably in the available observational data.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Binzel, R.P., Farinella, P., Zappala, V., and Cellino, A., Asteroid rotation rates: distributions and statistics, in Asteroids II, Binzel, R.P., Gehrels, T., and Matthews, M.S., Eds., Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press, 1989, pp. 416–441.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bottke, W.F., Jr., Vokrouhlický, D., Rubincam, D.P., and Nesvorný, D., The Yarkovsky and YORP effects: implications for asteroid dynamics, Ann. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 2006, vol. 34, pp. 157–191.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Campo Bagatin, A., Petit, J.-M., and Farinella, P., How many rubble piles are in the asteroid belt? Icarus, 2001, vol. 149,no. 1, pp. 198–209.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Deller, J.F., Hyper-velocity impacts on rubble pile asteroids, PhD Thesis, Canterbury: Univ. of Kent, 2015.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harris, A.W. and Pravec, P., Rotational properties of asteroids, comets and TNOs, Proc. IAU Symp. 229, ACM 2005 “Asteroids, Comets, Meteors,” August 7–12, 2005, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Lazzaro, D., et al., Eds., Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006, pp. 439–447.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lupishko, D. and Tielieusova, I., Influence of the YORP effect on rotation rates of near-Earth asteroids, Meteorit. Planet. Sci., 2014, vol. 49,no. 1, pp. 80–85.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Marzari, F., Rossi, A., and Scheeres, D.J., Combined effect of YORP and collisions on the rotation rate of small Main Belt asteroids, Icarus, 2011, vol. 214,no. 2, pp. 622–631.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Michel, P., Formation and physical properties of asteroids, Elements, 2014, vol. 10,no. 1, pp. 19–24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nesvorný, D. and Vokrouhlický, D., Analytic theory of the YORP effect for near-spherical objects, Astron. J., 2007, vol. 134, pp. 1750–1768.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Pravec, P. and Harris, A.W., Fast and slow rotation of asteroids, Icarus, 2000, vol. 148,no. 1, pp. 12–20.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Pravec, P., Harris, A.W., Vokrouhlický, D., Warner, B.D., Kušnirák, P., Hornoch, K., Pray, D.P., Higgins, D., Oey, J., Galád, A., et al., Spin rate distribution of small asteroids, Icarus, 2008, vol. 197,no. 2, pp. 497–504.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Rubincam, D.P., Radiative spin-up and spin-down of small asteroids, Icarus, 2000, vol. 148,no. 1, pp. 2–11.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Statler, T.S., Extreme sensitivity of the YORP effect to smallscale topography, Icarus, 2009, vol. 202,no. 2, pp. 502–513.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Vokrouhlický, D., Nesvorný, D., and Bottke, W.F., Secular spin dynamics of inner main-belt asteroids, Icarus, 2006, vol. 184,no. 1, pp. 1–28.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Warner, B.D., Harris, A.W., and Pravec, P., The asteroid database, Icarus, 2009, vol. 202, pp. 134–146.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to D. F. Lupishko.

Additional information

Russian Text © The Author(s), 2019, published in Astronomicheskii Vestnik, 2019, Vol. 53, No. 3, pp. 224–230.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lupishko, D.F., Mikhalchenko, O.I. & Chiorny, V.G. Influence of the YORP Effect on the Rotation of Small Main-Belt Asteroids. Sol Syst Res 53, 208–214 (2019).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • asteroids
  • small asteroids
  • main asteroid belt
  • rotation
  • distribution of rotation rates
  • YORP effect
  • average insolation