back to article Raw sunlight is going to cause our asteroid belt to spin itself to death by YORPing – but not for another six billion years

We all know the Sun's eventually going to expand and envelop the Earth, but for smaller objects further away our star will still be deadly, as its light will cause asteroids to literally spin themselves to death. Eggheads at the University of Warwick, in England, believe that, in around six billion years time, as the Sun burns …

  1. jake Silver badge

    Ta for the tip!

    "in around six billion years time"

    I'll set me alarm. I'd hate to miss the show.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Why wait for the show?

      "Let's do the time-YORP aga-aain!"

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Why wait for the show?

        Made glorious summer by this sun of yorp mayhap a trifle cloudy.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Why wait for the show?

        Can you get the spinsies from a jump to the left?

        1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

          Re: Can you get the spinsies from a jump to the left?

          well yes but, that is potentially lessened by the step to the right.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Can you get the spinsies from a jump to the left?

            If you put your hands on your hips you'll spin faster.

            1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

              Re: Can you get the spinsies from a jump to the left?

              but only if you bring your knees in tight.

              1. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

                Re: Can you get the spinsies from a jump to the left?

                But it's the photonic thrust that really drives you insane.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Can you get the spinsies from a jump to the left?

                  EVERYBODY! This time with full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that ... "Let's do the time-YORP aga-aain!"

  2. AIBailey
    WTF?

    This affects asteroids between 1 and 100 metres in diameter, and a rotation of once every 2 hours will "rip them apart"?

    What am I missing here - that doesn't sound particularly violent for an object of that scale, especially if an asteroid is mostly solid rock.

    1. ClockworkOwl

      Snowballs

      They're not very solid, mostly being made of rocks, gravel and dust glued together with ice.

      Ice is also an odd substance in space, hard but fragile, and interspersed with pockets of frozen gas...

      It only takes a little warming to see some of them start disintegrating.

      1. Natalie Gritpants Jr

        Re: Snowballs

        So we don't need Bruce Willis?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Snowballs

          Did we ever?

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Snowballs

            Or if you need someone to see them when they're dead.

        2. HildyJ Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Snowballs

          Only if you want to speed up the process and make the bits radioactive.

  3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Speedy

    The YORP effect in these systems is very violent and acts quickly, on the order of a million years.

    So will this be before or after my local council sorts out the potholes in the roads round here?

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Speedy

      So will this be before or after my local council sorts out the potholes in the roads round here?

      Most definitely before, by a margin of at least 10 billion years.

  4. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    Uranus is raw far too often

    1. jake Silver badge

      Uh, no. No, it isn't.

      Shall I project an image, or are you good at projection all by yourself?

  5. YARR

    If human descendents make it as far as colonising space, those asteroids are going to be space mined for constructing space stations / space mirrors / a halo or dyson sphere or just ballast for enlarging and terraforming Mars (to hold a dense atmosphere). I doubt they'll still be there in 6 billion years.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      That Dyson sphere will have some problems with gravity near the poles, I suggest you stick to a ring/halo.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      I doubt they'll still be there in 6 billion years.

      Bet you $10 they will be.

  6. PeterM42
    Unhappy

    In this is true.....

    ...I'm not going to bother with being cryogenically preserved.

  7. David 132 Silver badge
    Happy

    Ah, cosmology.

    ...one of the only fields of study where “over the order of a million years” is considered “quickly”.

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