Abstract: A summary of the activity of the CAMS BeNeLux network during the month of March 2021 is presented. 6397 multi-station meteors were reported, good for 1998 orbits, collected with a maximum of 91 operational cameras at 27 different CAMS stations. March 2021 was the second-best month of March in 10 years of the CAMS BeNeLux network.
March is a rather difficult month for astronomy in the BeNeLux area. It is no surprise that March remains about the poorest month of the year for the network. Without any relevant activity from any of the major or minor meteor showers, hourly rates remain low. March 2021 marked the 9th anniversary of the CAMS BeNeLux network as the first stations of the network collected the first orbits in the night of 14–15 March 2012. What would March 2021 bring for the network?
2 March 2021 statistics
The weather continued the same pattern we got end of February, the first week of March 2021 had some clear nights and longer periods with clear sky. The next ten nights were dominated by cloudy skies. The last period of March had variable circumstances with each night some clear skies, sometimes with almost complete clear nights. Only three nights in March 2021 remained without any single orbit (4 in March 2020). The best night was 5–6 March when 222 orbits were collected.
In total 6397 multi-station meteors were reported by all stations (10301 in March 2020), good for 1998 orbits (3026 in March 2020), the second-best result for the month of March, a significant better result than in 2019 and 2018. At best 91 cameras were active in March 2021 (93 previous year and 78 in 2019), a slight decrease in the number of operational cameras in spite of few new cameras added during the last year. The minimum of 59 operational cameras capturing each night was less than last year (66). Also, the average of operational cameras per night with 78.9 was a bit less than last year (81.7).
Figure 1 and Table 1 allow to compare the statistics for this month for all previous years. In 10 years, 217 nights in March allowed to collect orbits, good for 11330 orbits in total. Apart from few technical issues, motivation remains an important factor to keep camera operators continue their efforts after many years. A typical requirement for a successful video network is that there are enough stations and cameras available 7/7. This is one of the reasons why RMS cameras score very well.
Table 1 – March 2021 compared to previous months of March.
|Year||Nights||Orbits||Stations||Max. Cams||Min. Cams||Mean Cams|
As many as 27 different camera stations contributed to the network, a new record. The network could welcome Ludger Boergerding as new participant with his RMS DE000B, alias CAMS 003801 at Holdorf, Germany. Contributing CAMS data since 15–16 March, this new camera helped to determine 56 orbits in its first successful nights.
March 2021 became a favorable month of March for the network with a nice number of orbits as result, the second-best result for this month in 10 years.
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 data reduction and orbit calculation for all stations is coordinated by Carl Johannink. The CAMS BeNeLux team is operated by the following volunteers:
Hans Betlem (Woold, Netherlands, CAMS 3071, 3702 and 3073), Felix Bettonvil (Utrecht, Netherlands, CAMS 376 and 377), Jean-Marie Biets (Wilderen, Belgium, CAMS 379, 380, 381 and 382), Ludger Boergerding (Holdorf, Germany, RMS 3801), Martin Breukers (Hengelo, Netherlands, CAMS 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326 and 327), Guiseppe Canonaco (Genk, RMS 3815), Pierre de Ponthiere (Lesve, Belgium, RMS 3816), Bart Dessoy (Zoersel, Belgium, CAMS 397, 398, 804, 805, 806), Tammo Jan Dijkema (Dwingeloo, Netherlands, RMS 3199), Jean-Paul Dumoulin, Dominique Guiot and Christian Walin (Grapfontaine, Belgium, CAMS 814 and 815, RMS 3814), Uwe Glässner (Langenfeld, Germany, RMS 3800), Luc Gobin (Mechelen, Belgium, CAMS 3890, 3891, 3892 and 3893), 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), Kees Habraken (Kattendijke, Netherlands, RMS 378), Klaas Jobse (Oostkapelle, Netherlands, CAMS 3030, 3031, 3032, 3033, 3034, 3035, 3036 and 3037), Carl Johannink (Gronau, Germany, CAMS 3001, 3002, 3003, 3004, 3005, 3006, 3007, 3008, 3009 and 3010), 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, RMS 3830 and 3831, CAMS 3832, 3833, 3834, 3835, 3836 and 3837,), Hans Schremmer (Niederkruechten, Germany, CAMS 803) and Erwin van Ballegoij (Heesch, Netherlands, CAMS 348).