A summary of the activity of the CAMS BeNeLux network during the month February 2020 is presented. This month was severely hampered by bad weather and remained without any single complete clear night. In total 7665 meteors were recorded, 3141 of which proved multiple station, or 41%. In total 1215 orbits were collected during this month. The number of available cameras increased from 74 in 2019 to 84 in 2020.
Winter months, in general, are very unfavorable for astronomy in the BeNeLux and so is February. However, both February in 2018 and in 2019 were exceptional favorable months for CAMS. As January 2020 ended as a really disappointing month for the network, the question was if we would be lucky again with February 2020?
2 February 2020 statistics
Unfortunately, weather got worse instead of better compared to January. Storms dominated the weather week after week with mainly overcast sky with some clear spells at best. Most CAMS stations did not have any single complete clear night. Only three nights had over 100 orbits, while February 2019 had eight nights with more than 200 orbits, 2018 even had eleven nights with over 200 orbits. February 2020 became one of the worst months for CAMS BeNeLux.
CAMS BeNeLux managed to collect 7665 meteors (against 17784 in 2019 and 23439 in 2018) with a maximum of 84 cameras capturing at 22 participating stations. 3141 or 41% of these meteors were multi-station meteors, good for 1215 orbits (against 3485 in 2019 and 4147 in 2018). With the 2020 results the total number of orbits for February obtained by CAMS BeNeLux is 12055 orbits collected in 164 successful nights. The statistics for February 2020 are compared in Table 1 with all previous February months since the start of the CAMS BeNeLux network. Although more cameras were available than in 2019, the harvest in orbits remained far less due to the hopeless poor weather.
On average 72.6 of the available 84 cameras were capturing per night (68.8 of 74 in 2019). Especially in the first years, before AutoCams was available in the BeNeLux, many cameras remained switched off when the weather did not look good in the evening. This way the chances to obtain double station meteors for those cameras that remained active were rather small. Luckily, almost all camera stations function 7 on 7 now. This way only five nights remained without any orbit registered and not a single night remained without any meteor recording. AutoCAMS kept a minimum of 62 cameras active on all nights, even on completely overcast nights. On as many as 24 nights orbits have been collected. Figure 1 shows the camera capacity got restored compared to 2019, but the network did not yet get back at its strength of February 2018.
A new camera started to contribute, the Global Meteor Network RMS DE0001, alias CAMS 3800, installed at Langenfeld, Germany, owned by Uwe Glässner.
Table 1 – February 2020 compared to previous months of February.
|Year||Nights||Orbits||Stations||Max. Cams||Min. Cams||Mean Cams|
February 2020 was a month without any single complete clear night. It is a huge achievement that still 1215 orbits were collected under such poor weather conditions.
Many thanks to all participants in the CAMS BeNeLux network for their dedicated efforts. The data on which this report is based has been taken from the CAMS website. 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), Uwe Glässner (Langenfeld, Germany, RMS 3800), 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, 313, 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).