617 Patroclus is the second Jovian Trojan asteroid to be discovered. It was discovered in 1907 by August Kopff.
Patroclus lies in Jupiter's trailing Lagrangian point, L5, called the 'Trojan' node after one of the two sides in the legendary Trojan War. It is the only asteroid in the Trojan camp to be named after a Greek character because the naming conventions for the Trojan asteroids were not adopted until after Patroclus was named. Similarly the asteroid Hektor is the only Trojan character in the Greek camp.
In 2001 it was discovered that Patroclus is actually a binary asteroid. The larger component retains the name Patroclus while the smaller is known as S/2001 (617) 1.
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The minor planets
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For a complete listing, see: List of asteroids. For pronunciation, see: Pronunciation of asteroid names.
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