A summary of the activity of the CAMS BeNeLux network during the month of October 2018 is presented. October 2018 counted many clear nights. 51332 meteors were recorded, 28032 of which proved multiple station, or 55%. A strong Draconid outburst, the October Camelopardalids with a modest outburst, the October Ursae Majorids with a surprisingly good activity and some of the Orionid top nights all with clear nights resulted in a total of 9611 orbits collected during this month.


1 Introduction

October is in general the month that the last few warm days remind us of the past summer, with 10 hours long nights and unfortunately often much humidity at night. Any lucky chance to have some clear nights this time of the year means great numbers of orbits. Since the CAMS BeNeLux network got started in 2012 weather in October has been rather uncooperative. Would October 2018 bring us more luck?


2 October 2018 statistics

CAMS BeNeLux collected the absolute record of 51332 meteors of which 28032 or 55% were multi-station, good for 9611 orbits. This is a great new record for the month of October. The exceptional dry weather that dominated 2018 since mid-April continued throughout October. This month counted as many as 22 nights with more than 100 orbits. The best October night was 08–09 with as many as 1391 orbits in a single night, thanks to the Draconid outburst. Only two nights remained without any orbits. The statistics of October 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, 170 October nights allowed to obtain orbits with a grand total of 22141 orbits collected during October during all these years together.

Unfortunately, a cornerstone of the network, Ooltgenplaat, remained non-active as well as Dourbes and Langemark. Technical problems with some cameras at different stations could be solved within few days. While October 2017 had a maximum of 87 cameras, 74.4 on average available, October 2018 had 82 cameras at best and 73.0 on average.

The record number of orbits was the result of the exceptional number of clear nights combined with the use of AutoCams and the exceptional outburst of the October Camelopardalids in the night of 5–6 October, followed few days later by a far much stronger outburst than anyone expected of the Draconids, alias Giacobinids, and as cherry on the cake another strong activity of the October Ursae Majorids in the night of 14-15-16 October. The broad Orionid maximum activity is a most rewarding observing period for meteor workers and 2018 offered some partial clear nights during this Orionid activity. A favorable weather for Orionids is a once in a five years festivity which we did not enjoy since the testing period of CAMS in the BeNeLux after the Draconid 2011 project, months before the official start of the CAMS BeNeLux network. Better than this, nobody can expect a month of October to be. October 2018 so far is the best month ever in the CAMS BeNeLux history and this while the network had less cameras available than one year earlier.


Figure 1 – Comparing October 2018 to previous months of October 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 – October 2018 compared to previous months of October.

Year Nights Orbits Stations Max. Cams Min. Camas Mean Cams
2012 16 220 6 7


2013 20 866 10 26 16.8
2014 22 1262 14 33 19.7
2015 24 2684 15 47 34.8
2016 30 3335 19 54 19 41.3
2017 29 4163 22 87 45 74.4
2018 29 9611 21 82 52 73.0
Total 170 22141

3 Conclusion

October 2018 exceeded all expectations with the strong Draconid outburst, the October Camelopardalids with a modest outburst, the October Ursae Majorids with a surprisingly good activity and some of the Orionid top nights, all with favorable weather.



Many thanks to all participants in the CAMS BeNeLux network for their dedicated efforts. Thanks to Carl Johannink 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 October 2018:

Hans Betlem (Leiden, CAMS 371, 372 and 373), Felix Bettonvil (Utrecht, CAMS 376 and 377), 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, 806 and 888), Jean-Paul Dumoulin / Christian Wanlin (Grapfontaine, CAMS 814 and 815), Luc Gobin (Mechelen, CAMS 390, 391, 807 and 808), Tioga Gulon (Nancy, France, CAMS 3900 and 3901), 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), Klaas Jobs (Oostkapelle, 3030, 3031, 3032, 3033, 3034, 3035, 3036 and 3037), 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).