RECON Updates – Summer 2023

Not for lack of activity, it has been a while since our last RECON blog post. Below are some updates updates we wanted to share with the community.

Comet 29P/Schwassman-Wachmann

During December 2022 and January 2023, RECON teams coordinated to successfully measure Comet 29P/Schwassman-Wachmann (also referred to as SW1) on three occasions: four detections on 19 December, 2022; one detection on 27 December, 2022; and five detections on 28 January, 2023 (all UT dates). Preliminary results were shared during the Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites Conference in Flagstaff Arizona this past June.

Polymele and Shaun: NASA Lucy Megacampaign in Kansas

On 2 February, 2023, roughly two dozen RECON team members joined another 150+ students and amateur and professional astronomers to deploy over 100 telescopes in Kansas (between Salina and Wichita) along with Spain and Portugal in an effort to recover the moonlet Shaun that orbits the NASA Lucy mission target Polymele. The campaign was successful, with multiple detections of Polymele and one chord on Shaun. RECON team members interested in helping with addition Lucy campaigns should stay tuned to our Lucy Occultations Slack channel.

Lucy Occultations Community Page

This summer, Southwest Research Institute has launched new Lucy Occultations Community Page – – for sharing occultation opportunities and accomplishments more broadly. The site features past and upcoming Lucy occultations, resources, results and highlights, along with a space for new participants members to express interest in getting involved.

Upcoming Asteroid and Trojans Opportunities

As we look toward the 2023-24 academic year, we plan to engage RECON teams in a number of campaigns involving Trojan asteroids along with Main Belt Asteroid 269 Justitia. Because shadow prediction uncertainties are lower for these objects which are closer to Earth, most of these campaigns will involve smaller subsets of the RECON community engaging in targeted campaigns. Stay tuned … and go RECON!