Presentation #512.04 in the session Trojan Asteroids: A horse of a different color.
NASA’s Lucy mission will encounter its largest targets, the nearly equal mass (617) Patroclus/Menoetius binary, in March 2033. We observed four occultations by Patroclus and Menoetius in Australia between June 30 and July 28 using 28-cm portable telescopes. These events were remarkable not only due to their proximity in time and the relative brightness of the stars being occulted (stellar magnitudes ranging from Gaia G = 13.2 to 15.2), but also because of the varying aspects of the mutual orbit of Patroclus and Menoetius that they probed. For the first event on June 30, observed from southern Northern Territory and northern South Australia, the shadows of the two bodies were separated by approximately 50 seconds in time and 450 km on the surface of the Earth. For the second event on July 6, observed from south and east of Perth, the two shadows were separated by approximately 10 seconds and 475 km. For the particularly exciting third event on July 22, the two shadows were separated by approximately 40 seconds in time, and a mere 8 km on the ground meaning that most observers saw both objects and doubled the sampling on each object. The shadows of Patroclus and Menoetius were separated by approximately 55 seconds and 230 km for the final event on July 28. The final two events were observed from northwestern Western Australia. We will present independent measurements of the shapes and positions of Patroclus and Menoetius provided by each occultation. These measurements are crucial to refining their heliocentric and mutual orbits for spacecraft navigation, and for maximizing the scientific return of the encounter observations.