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The idea is the sun's heat serves as a propulsion engine on the irregular features of an asteroid's surface. "YORP can accelerate or decelerate the rotation rate," Mikko Kaasalainen of the University of Helsinki in Finland said by e-mail.
When sunlight hits the asteroid, the solar energy is absorbed and then radiated back into space. When the asteroid is not spherical, this can create a push off parts of its surface that alters its spin.
Originally posted by sardion2000
This has been known for a long time. One of the methods of actually deflecting an NEO that has been proposed is to paint it white or black depending on the situation. It wouldn't be regular paint though heh. This is the basic prinicipal of a solar sail.