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Effect of Density Inhomogeneity on YORP- The case of Itokawa

Effect of Density Inhomogeneity on YORP- The case of Itokawa

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Published by: ardeegee on Sep 05, 2008
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06/15/2009

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Effect of Density Inhomogeneity on YORP:The case of Itokawa
D.J. ScheeresColorado Center for Astrodynamics ResearchThe University of Colorado at BoulderR.W. GaskellPlanetary Science InstituteSubmitted to
Icarus
May 2, 2008
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Please, send editorial communications and proofs to:
Dan Scheeres429 UCBBoulder, CO 80309-0429E–mail: scheeres@colorado.eduManuscript pages: 15Figures: 4Running title: Effect of Density Inhomogeneity on YORPKeywords: ASTEROIDS, ROTATION; DENSITY DISTRIBUTION; YORP.2
 
Abstract
The effect of density inhomogeneity on the YORP effect for a givenshape model is investigated. A density inhomogeneity will cause anoffset between the center of figure and the center of mass and a re-orientation of the principal axes away from those associated with theshape alone. Both of these effects can alter the predicted YORP rate of change in angular velocity and obliquity. We apply these corrections tothe Itokawa shape model and find that its YORP angular velocity rateis sensitive to offsets between its center of mass and center of figure,with a shift on the order of 10 meters being able to change the sign of the YORP effect for that asteroid. Given the non-detection of YORPfor Itokawa as of 2008, this can shed light on the density distributionwithin that body. The theory supports a shift of the asteroid center of mass towards Itokawa’s neck region, where there is an accumulation of finer gravels. Detection of the YORP effect for Itokawa should providesome strong constraints on its density distribution. This theory couldalso be applied to asteroids visited by future spacecraft to constraindensity inhomogeneities.
1 Introduction
The YORP effect for asteroids, initially proposed by Rubincam[9], has nowbeen verified [7,14,5] and is being invoked to explain a variety of evolutionary dynamics and states for the smaller members of the asteroid population.Despite this success, the YORP effect for the one small NEA whose shapeand mass is best characterized, the asteroid Itokawa [3,4,1], has not been detected yet, despite predictions that YORP should have been evident by now[10].
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The non-detection of the YORP effect for Itokawa raises a number of 
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It should be noted that a detection of YORP for Itokawa was reported in[6], but wassubsequently retracted by that author at the 2007 DPS meeting.
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