Abstract: A summary of the activity of the CAMS BeNeLux network during the month of August 2021 is presented. The CAMS BeNeLux network experienced favorable weather circumstances during the rich Perseid nights. Especially August 13–14 produced remarkable many paired meteors. As many as 24179 multiple station meteors were recorded. A total of 7382 orbits were collected during this month with a maximum of 89 operational cameras available at 27 camera stations.
Figure 1 – Comparing August 2021 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 capturing in a single night and the yellow bar the average number of cameras capturing per night.The Perseid month of August remains the favorite observing month for many amateurs. Moon wise, the circumstances were favorable in 2021 and the only uncertain factor remained the weather. The corona pandemic kept most amateur astronomers at home so that most camera owners remained available for meteor work at home. During most past years, August was the best month of the year in terms of number of orbits. What would August 2021 bring?
2 August 2021 statistics
CAMS BeNeLux collected 24179 multi-station meteors (28479 in 2020 and 33231 in 2019), good for 7382 orbits (8756 in 2020 and 9921 in 2019). The total for 2021 is less than the two previous years but still much better than August 2018 when ‘only’ 5403 orbits were recorded.
The weather was rather variable during the first week of August but luckily improved for the second week including the rich Perseid nights of 11–12–13–14–15 August. This saved the month since previous years the high scores were mainly obtained without perfect weather during the rich Perseid nights, so we have been lucky. Nobody would expect unforeseen surprises with the best studied and well-known meteor shower like the Perseid, but it did happen. August 13–14 produced a strong unpredicted Perseid outburst visible over Canada and the USA. CAMS BeNeLux recorded during this night as many as 1249 orbits, more than during August 12–13 with the traditional maximum. Still, this isn’t a record harvest in orbits in a single night for CAMS BeNeLux. The absolute record remains for August 12–13 in 2017 when 1555 orbits were collected in a single night. December 12–13, 2018 had 1396 orbits and the 2018 Draconid outburst October 08–09 had 1391 orbits. If we ever get a clear Geminid maximum with our current number of cameras, these record numbers will be history.
16 August nights had more than 100 orbits (25 in 2020), 5 nights had more than 500 orbits (also 5 in 2020). Two nights remained without any orbits (none in 2020). The weather was definitely less favorable than in 2020 or 2019 as less meteors were caught in 2021 with about the same number of cameras available.
The statistics of August 2021 are compared in Figure 1 and Table 1 with the same month in previous years since the start of CAMS BeNeLux in 2012. In 10 years, 278 August nights allowed to obtain orbits with a grand total of 52552 orbits collected during this month for all these years together.
Table 1 – August 2021 compared to previous months of August.
|Year||Nights||Orbits||Stations||Max. Cams||Min. Camas||Mean Cams|
Most camera operators use AutoCams, only some CAMS stations in the Netherlands and Germany do not yet use AutoCAMS. Remote control allows to operate the cameras and to report data from any holiday resort during the summer holidays without causing any delays. For this purpose, the RMS cameras are most valuable as these systems are fully automated and can be easily remotely accessed by using AnyDesk.
Three new cameras were installed during August 2021. CAMS 3817 at OCA, Grapfontaine, an RMS camera (BE0005) with a 6 mm lens (FoV 54° × 30°) pointed low in western direction. CAMS 3818 and 3819 (BE0007 and BE0008) were installed at Cosmodrome in Genk, both RMS cameras with 6 mm lenses. BE0003 (CAMS 3815) was moved from Genk to Zillebeke where it started to register meteors in September.
It is worthwhile to look at the number of orbits collected with these RMS cameras, compared to the Watecs in the CAMS BeNeLux network. The 20 best scoring cameras during August 2021 are listed in Table 2.
Table 2 – Comparing RMS cameras among the twenty cameras of the CAMS BeNeLux network with the best score in terms of orbits during August 2021.
|Camera||Total orbits||Total nights|
|003814 (RMS, Grapfontaine, BE)||975||31|
|003816 (RMS, Lesve, BE)||932||31|
|000378 (RMS, Kattendijke, NL)||571||31|
|003800 (RMS, Langenfeld, DE)||570||31|
|003801 (RMS, Holdorf, DE)||529||31|
|000806 (Watec, Zoersel, BE)||437||31|
|003817 (RMS, Grapfontaine, BE)||434||19|
|003830 (RMS Mechelen, BE)||430||31|
|003004 (Watec, Gronau, DE)||427||18|
|003815 (RMS Genk, BE)||404||13|
|003891 (Watec, Mechelen, BE)||397||31|
|000394 (Watec, Dourbes, BE)||392||31|
|000805 (Watec, Zoersel, BE)||379||31|
|003833 (Watec, Mechelen, BE)||376||30|
|003003 (Watec, Gronau, DE)||373||18|
|003834 (Watec, Mechelen, BE)||368||30|
|003832 (Watec, Mechelen, BE)||365||30|
|000816 (Watec, Humain, BE)||365||31|
|003005 (Watec, Gronau, DE)||363||18|
|003035 (Watec, Oostkapelle, NL)||357||25|
August 2021 brought less favorable weather than previous two years, but luckily the rich Perseid nights were mostly clear. Altogether it became the 4th best month of August in 10 years of CAMS BeNeLux.
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 (Winterswijk, CAMS 3071, 3072 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, RMS 3818, RMS 3819), Pierre de Ponthiere (Lesve, Belgium, RMS 3816), Bart Dessoy (Zoersel, Belgium, CAMS 397, 398, 804, 805, 806 and 3888), Tammo Jan Dijkema (Eelderwolde, Netherlands, RMS 3198, Dwingeloo, Netherlands, RMS 3199), Jean-Paul Dumoulin, Dominique Guiot and Christian Walin (Grapfontaine, Belgium, CAMS 814 and 815, RMS 3814, RMS 3817), 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 811, 812 and 813), Kees Habraken (Kattendijke, Netherlands, RMS 378), Klaas Jobse (Oostkapelle, Netherlands, CAMS 3031, 3032, 3033, 3034, 3035, 3036 and 3037), Carl Johannink (Gronau, Germany, CAMS 3001, 3002, 3003, 3004, 3005, 3006, 3007, 3008, 3009 and 3010), Reinhard Kühn (Flatzby, Germany, RMS 3802), 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).