A summary of the activity of the CAMS BeNeLux network during the month of August 2018 is presented. The time around the Perseid maximum had rather poor weather. 27917 meteors were recorded,15286 of which proved multiple station, or 55%. A total of 5403 orbits were collected during this month.


1 Introduction

August is the most popular month among meteor observers because of the Perseid meteor shower that contributes many meteors on top of several other shower activities and a strong sporadic background. A good month of August often makes the year. August 2017 had a record number of orbits, a challenge to do better. What did August 2018 bring us?


2 August 2018 statistics

CAMS BeNeLux collected 27917 meteors of which 15286 or 55% were multi-station, good for 5403 orbits. This is significant less than previous year when a record number of 8738 orbits were recorded. The main reason for the modest number of orbits is the poor weather during the best Perseid nights.

August 2018 started with several clear nights in the first week but weather deteriorated and most of the Perseid activity was lost due to poor observing conditions. The second half of August continued with variable sky conditions. Meteorologically August 2018 was exceptional dry, with a lot of sunshine and high temperatures, but clouds interfered during many nights limiting the number of double station meteors. The statistics of August 2018 are compared in Figure 1 and Table 1 with the same month in previous years since the start of CAMS BeNeLux in 2012. In 7 years, 189 August nights allowed to obtain orbits with a grand total of 26409 orbits collected during August during all these years together.

Apart from the weather the scores for August 2018 also suffered from the unavailability of several CAMS stations. The two major CAMS stations Ooltgenplaat and Oostkapelle remained out of service as well as Dourbes with its two cameras. Camera 386 at Langemark stopped functioning on 20 August. Both Gronau with 8 cameras and Ermelo with 4 cameras remained non-active for two weeks because of the summer holidays. Most camera operators use AutoCams with remote control to keep their cameras functioning during the summer holidays which is a great help to keep sufficient coverage of the atmosphere. While August 2017 had a maximum of 82 cameras, 69.9 on average available, August 2018 had to do with a maximum of 72 cameras, 62.4 on average. With less cameras and less favorable weather during the richest Perseid nights, the score of 5403 orbits is still a very nice result mainly thanks to the generalized use of AutoCAMS at most CAMS stations. It was the first time that the CAMS BeNeLux network had less cameras available than one year earlier.

For the first time in a while the CAMS BeNeLux network could welcome a new participant, Marco Van der weide in Hengelo with CAMS 3110.


Figure 1 – Comparing August 2018 to previous months of August in the CAMS BeNeLux history. The blue bars represent the number of orbits, the red bars the maximum number of cameras running in a single night and the yellow bar the average number of cameras running per night.


Table 1 – August 2018 compared to previous months of August.

Year Nights Orbits Stations Max. Cams Min. Camas Mean Cams
2012 21 283 5 6 3.2
2013 27 1960 13 25 15.3
2014 28 2102 14 32 20.8
2015 25 2821 15 45 30.4
2016 30 5102 20 54 15 46.2
2017 28 8738 21 82 45 69.9
2018 30 5403 19 72 56 62.4
Total 189 26409


3 Conclusion

August 2018 ended with a nice new collection of orbits in spite of less favorable weather during the Perseid maximum and the unavailability of a significant number of cameras. Auto CAMs proved to be a great help to insure the availability of cameras during the summer holidays while the camera owners enjoy their vacation.



Many thanks to all participants in the CAMS BeNeLux network for their dedicated efforts. Thanks to Martin Breukers for providing all the data on which this report is based. The CAMS BeNeLux team was operated by the following volunteers during the month of August 2018:

Hans Betlem (Leiden, CAMS 371, 372 and 373), Jean-Marie Biets (Wilderen, CAMS 380, 381 and 382), Martin Breukers (Hengelo, CAMS 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328 and 329), Bart Dessoy (Zoersel, CAMS 397, 398, 804, 805 and 806), Franky Dubois (Langemark, CAMS 386), Jean-Paul Dumoulin / Christian Wanlin (Grapfontaine, CAMS 814 and 815), Luc Gobin (Mechelen, CAMS 390, 391, 807 and 808), Robert Haas (Alphen aan de Rijn, CAMS 3160, 3161, 3162, 3163, 3164, 3165, 3166 and 3167), Robert Haas / Edwin van Dijk (Burlage, CAMS 801, 802, 821 and 822), Robert Haas (Texel, CAMS 810, 811, 812 and 813), Carl Johannink (Gronau, CAMS 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317 and 318), Hervé Lamy (Ukkel, CAMS 393), Koen Miskotte (Ermelo, CAMS 351, 352, 353 and 354), Piet Neels (Terschelling, CAMS 841, 842, 843 and 844), Tim Polfliet (Gent, CAMS 396), Steve Rau (Zillebeke, CAMS 3850 and 3852), Paul Roggemans (Mechelen, CAMS 383, 384, 388, 389, 399 and 809), Hans Schremmer (Niederkruechten, CAMS 803), Erwin van Ballegoij (CAMS 347 and 348) and Marco Van der weide (CAMS 3110).