• Released Tuesday, August 18, 2015
  • Updated Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 12:35PM
  • ID: 11923

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Discover how light from the sun can change the path of an asteroid.

Find out more about the Yarkovsky effect and asteroid Bennu in this video.

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Bennu is a rotating space rock that circles the inner solar system in the main asteroid belt.

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As the asteroid travels through space, its illuminated surface is warmed by heat (white arrow) from the sun.

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As the surface cools, the emitted heat (purple arrows) exerts a small thrust that can modify the asteroid's trajectory over time.

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Observations from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will help scientists better predict how the asteroid might move through the solar system.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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