RECON Supports NASA Lucy Mission – Eurybates Campaign North of Las Vegas on 20 October

The NASA Lucy spacecraft is being prepared for its launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday morning, October 16. This mission will use two Earth gravity assists to fly by four Trojan astroids located in the L4 cloud 60 degrees ahead of Jupiter in 2027-2028 and a third Earth gravity assist to fly by a binary asteroid in the L5 cloud in 2033. Check out the interactive website Where is Lucy? to view the spacecraft location over the duration of its decade-long mission.

NASA Lucy spacecraft being placed within payload fairing in Titusville, Florida, on September 30, 2021, in preparation for launch in October.

In support of Lucy mission flight planning and science, the RECON network will be participating in a mobile deployment on the morning of October 20 to measure the shadow of the first target of the mission, Eurybates. Over 60 RECON participants and other volunteers will be meeting in Las Vegas starting Sunday, October 17, to prepare for this campaign which will involve at least 37 telescope sites. A snapshot of an interactive map of the occultation shadow track is provided below. The occultation event, which involves a magnitude 13.5 star in the constellation of Taurus, occurs early on the morning of Wednesday, October 20.

Shadow track prediction for Eurybates on 20 October 2021. Black line in the middle is the predicted centerline surrounded by two blue lines showing the size of the asteroid. The outer blue lines are 3-sigma uncertainty markers for the prediction. Yellow chords will be covered by 37 mobile and fixed telescope sites operated by RECON team members and other volunteers.

The occultation event, which involves a magnitude 13.5 star in the constellation of Taurus, occurs early on the morning of Wednesday, October 20. Sending positive intentions to both the launch team at Kennedy Space Center and to our RECON teams participating in this occultation campaign.

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