A summary of the activity of the CAMS BeNeLux network during the month of June 2019 is presented. The month was characterized by many clear nights and in general very favorable circumstances. 7817 multiple station meteors were captured which allowed to calculate 2457 orbits which is a new record for the month of June.


1 Introduction

The shortest nights of the year are a challenge to collect orbits at the latitudes of the CAMS BeNeLux network, also because the overall meteor activity is about at its minimum level first weeks of June. Would 2019 offer us a better month of June than previous years?


2 June 2019 statistics

June is the most difficult month for CAMS BeNeLux because of the short observing window of barely 5 hours dark sky each night. June 2019 brought better weather conditions than usually this time of the year. Only two nights remained without any double station meteors. As many as 13 nights resulted in more than 100 orbits in spite of the short duration of these nights, two nights got over 200 orbits each! The statistics for June 2019 are compared in Figure 1 and Table 1 with the same month in previous years since the start of CAMS BeNeLux in 2012.


Table 1 – June 2019 compared to previous months of June.

Year Nights Orbits Stations Max. Cams Min. Cams Mean Cams
2012 0 0 4 0 0.0
2013 16 102 9 12 7.0
2014 23 379 13 31 19.0
2015 20 779 15 44 32.9
2016 18 345 17 50 15 35.7
2017 26 1536 19 66 30 52.1
2018 28 1425 21 78 52 64.9
2019 28 2457 20 84 63 75.6
Total 159 7023


This month it is one year ago that a disaster ruined the CAMS station of Piet Neels at Ooltgenplaat, the Netherlands. A great personal loss for Piet but also a huge drawback for the entire CAMS BeNeLux network. The role of Ooltgenplaat in the network became obvious once the station ceased functioning. Large areas covered by the CAMS BeNeLux network suddenly suffered poor coverage especially below 90 km altitude in the atmosphere over the western and southern areas of the network. Ooltgenplaat had 8 cameras functioning 7/7 with AutoCams. While all CAMS stations in Belgium operate 7/7 with AutoCams, Ooltgenplaat was the only station North of Belgium which provided 7/7 coverage on most of the southern part of the network. The impact of the reduced coverage has been masked by the overall better than usual observing circumstances. The loss of Ooltgenplaat illustrates well what a difference that 7/7 AutoCams makes for a meteor camera network.


Figure 1 – Comparing June 2019 to previous months of June 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.


Compared to one year ago less technical failures occurred keeping more cameras operational. During the best nights up to 84 cameras were operational (78 in June 2018). Thanks to AutoCAMS at least 63 cameras were all nights operational (52 in June 2018). On average 90% of the available cameras were active. One issue remains a problem at some stations: shuttered meteors caused by an interruption with dropped frames that make the duration uncertain and affects the velocity determination making the registration unusable for orbit determination. The ratio of multiple station coincidences depends on the number of stations with clear sky during the same time span. The more stable the weather conditions are network wide and the less technical problems, the better the chances to catch a meteor from at least two stations.

Two RMS cameras produced the best scores in terms of orbits of all cameras in the CAMS BeNeLux network. There is no competition to nominate any most successful camera in the network, but in this case, it is interesting to see how the RMS performs compared to the Watecs. Certain cameras are pointed at regions where the chances for multiple station events is simply significant less, for instance towards the borders of the camera network coverage. However, to illustrate the order of difference for these RMS cameras, it is necessary to compare these numbers with what the most successful Watecs obtained.


Table 2 – The ten cameras of the CAMS BeNeLux network with the best score in terms of orbits during June 2019.

Camera Total
003814 (RMS Grafontaine – B) 361 26
003830 (RMS Mechelen – B) 286 30
000395 (Dourbes – B) 186 30
000391 (Mechelen – B) 182 30
000394 (Dourbes – B) 178 30
000816 (Humain – B) 167 30
000384 (Mechelen – B) 166 30
000814 (Grapfontaine – B) 162 30
000390 (Mechelen – B) 155 30
000393 (Uccle – B) 152 30


3  Conclusion

June 2019 was the best month of June ever in the 8 years since 2012. The total number of orbits for the month of June rose to 7023 in 159 June nights that allowed to collect orbits. This way the month of March becomes the poorest covered month of the year for CAMS BeNeLux with ‘only’ 6308 orbits collected during 162 usable nights since 2012.



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[1]. 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 380, 381 and 382), Martin Breukers (Hengelo, Netherlands, CAMS 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326 and 327, RMS 328 and 329), 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 3360, 3361, 3362, 3363, 3364, 3365, 3366 and 3367), 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, 3037, 3038 and 3039) , Carl Johannink (Gronau, Germany, CAMS 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317 and 318), 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), Hans Schremmer (Niederkruechten, Germany, CAMS 803) and Erwin van Ballegoij (Heesch, Netherlands,CAMS 347 and 348).

[1] http://cams.seti.org/FDL/index-BeNeLux.html