Direct Detection of the Yarkovsky Effect by Radar Ranging to Asteroid 6489 Golevka

Steven R. Chesley, Steven J. Ostro, David Vokrouhlický, David Čapek, Jon D. Giorgini, Michael C. Nolan, Jean Luc Margot, Alice A. Hine, Lance A.M. Benner, Alan B. Chamberlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Radar ranging from Arecibo, Puerto Rico, to the 0.5-kilometer near-Earth asteroid 6489 Golevka unambiguously reveals a small nongravitational acceleration caused by the anisotropic thermal emission of absorbed sunlight. The magnitude of this perturbation, known as the Yarkovsky effect, is a function of the asteroid's mass and surface thermal characteristics. Direct detection of the Yarkovsky effect on asteroids will help constrain their physical properties, such as bulk density, and refine their orbital paths. Based on the strength of the detected perturbation, we estimate the bulk density of Golevka to be 2.7-0.6+0.4 grams per cubic centimeter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1739-1742
Number of pages4
Issue number5651
StatePublished - Dec 6 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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