Abstract: A summary of the activity of the CAMS BeNeLux network during the month of January 2020 is presented. January 2020 was a typical winter month with mostly unfavorable weather circumstances. 12997 meteors were recorded, 6045 of which proved multiple station, or 47%, good for 2075 orbits. The Quadrantid maximum night January 3-4 was the most successful night with as many as 660 orbits in this single night.
January tends to be one of the worst months for astronomy in the BeNeLux with mostly overcast sky. During the 8 past years the CAMS BeNeLux network did not have any single month of January with favorable weather circumstances. After 8 years, the night of January 23–24 with only 5 orbits collected remains the poorest calendar date on the CAMS BeNeLux orbit tally. Would 2020 bring us finally better luck for January?
2 January 2020 statistics
The first month of 2020 continued the unfavorable weather reputation for January with not a single perfect clear night. The best we got were nights with some clear spans. As many as 8 nights ended without any single orbit. Luckily, one of these partial clear nights occurred during the Quadrantid maximum which was favorably timed this year.
CAMS BeNeLux managed to register 12997 meteors (10943 in 2019) with a maximum of 83 operational cameras (75 in 2019) at 21 participating stations, with 6045 or 47% multi-station meteors (5124 or 47% in 2019) good for 2075 orbits (1857 in 2019). The total number of orbits is a new record number for the month of January. This good result is entirely due to the Quadrantid night of 3–4 January when as many as 660 orbits were collected. Without this lucky night, January 2020 would have been the worst January since 2016.
At best 83 of the 92 operational cameras were active during some nights in January 2020. On average 72.9 cameras were capturing per night. Only 8–9 January did not have any meteor registered. Thanks to AutoCAMS the surveillance of the BeNeLux sky was guaranteed with a minimum of 64 active cameras on all nights. On 23 nights orbits have been collected. The long winter nights may often start with an overcast sky looking hopeless to get anything like clear sky, but nights with up to 14 hours of dark sky often prove to have time spans with unpredicted clear sky. Casual observers often remain unaware of such clear periods while the AutoCAMS observers get happily surprised when confirming unexpected meteors. A substantial part of the January 2020 orbits comes from this permanent alertness provided by AutoCAMS. Figure 1 and Table 1 show the evolution compared to the previous months of January.
Table 1 – January 2020 compared to previous months of January.
|Year||Nights||Orbits||Stations||Max. Cams||Min. Cams||Mean Cams|
A positive note for January 2020 is that less technical failures were reported.
The team members spent a lot of efforts to get some results out of mostly cloudy nights. Despite the bad weather still a very nice result has been obtained. The variable weather combined with long winter nights produces often some short intervals with clear skies. AutoCAMS is recommended to have all cameras running whenever unexpected clear sky occurs.
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 is operated by the following volunteers:
Hans Betlem (Leiden, Netherlands, CAMS 371, 372 and 373), Jean-Marie Biets (Wilderen, Belgium, CAMS 379, 380, 381 and 382), Martin Breukers (Hengelo, Netherlands, CAMS 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326 and 327, RMS 328 and 329), Guiseppe Canonaco (Genk, RMS 3815), Bart Dessoy (Zoersel, Belgium, CAMS 397, 398, 804, 805, 806 and 888), Jean-Paul Dumoulin and Christian Walin (Grapfontaine, Belgium, CAMS 814 and 815, RMS 003814), Luc Gobin (Mechelen, Belgium, CAMS 390, 391, 807 and 808), Tioga Gulon (Nancy, France, CAMS 3900 and 3901), Robert Haas (Alphen aan de Rijn, Netherlands, CAMS 3160, 3161, 3162, 3163, 3164, 3165, 3166 and 3167), Robert Haas (Texel, Netherlands, CAMS 810, 811, 812 and 813), Robert Haas / Edwin van Dijk (Burlage, Germany, CAMS 801, 802, 821 and 822), Klaas Jobse (Oostkapelle, Netherlands, CAMS 3030, 3031, 3032, 3033, 3034, 3035, 3036 and 3037), Carl Johannink (Gronau, Germany, CAMS 311, 312, 314, 315 and 316), Hervé Lamy (Dourbes, Belgium, CAMS 394 and 395), Hervé Lamy (Humain Belgium, CAMS 816), Hervé Lamy (Ukkel, Belgium, CAMS 393), Koen Miskotte (Ermelo, Netherlands, CAMS 351, 352, 353 and 354), Tim Polfliet (Gent, Belgium, CAMS 396), Steve Rau (Zillebeke, Belgium, CAMS 3850 and 3852), Paul and Adriana Roggemans (Mechelen, Belgium, CAMS 383, 384, 388, 389, 399 and 809, RMS 003830 and 003831), Hans Schremmer (Niederkruechten, Germany, CAMS 803) and Erwin van Ballegoij (Heesch, Netherlands,CAMS 347 and 348).