YORP stands for Yarkovsky–O’Keefe–Radzievskii–Paddack effect.
Dr Kasuga said: “The released particles can enter Earth’s atmosphere and appear as fireballs, which is exactly what happened in 2017.”
The 2017 fireball was not large enough to be of any concerns to Earth’s safety since it only measured “a few centimetres” across.
Larger space rock fragments can, however, be devastating if they every slam into the planet.
In 2013, for instance, an undetected asteroid entered the atmosphere above Russia’s Chelyabinsk Oblast and exploded before reaching the ground.
The explosion was powerful enough to damage more than 7,000 buildings in a wide radius.