2014, October 27 - Carl Johannink reports that the CAMS at BeNeLux network will have a meeting in Heesch on November 9. They will discuss the results from the network so far and will provide tutorials in using the single-CAMS tools. If you are interested in attending the meeting, please contact Carl. He also reports that the number of participating stations is still growing, with one extra camera in Gronau (Johannink), a fifth camera in Oostkapelle (Jobse) and new stations in Groningen (Bus) and in northern Belgium (Biets) under development.
Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring (arrow) approaching Mars (top of frame) on 2014 October 19 at 17h25m30s UT, in a photo by Tim Cooper of Bredell, South Africa. This image was taken using a 30cm LX90, SXV-M7 camera, a ten second exposure unfiltered. Field of view is about 7' wide.
2014, October 19 - Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) just passed by Mars. We are now waiting to hear from orbiters and landers at Mars if any meteors were detected, potentially providing unique information about the physical properties of large cometary dust grains ejected very freshly from a comet nucleus. It will take some time to bring the data to Earth and do the analysis. Results from the observations will be discussed during a special session Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) at Mars at the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco on December 18.
Combined plot of geocentric radiants in period 2014 September 11-30, measured by the CAMS networks in the BeNeLux (located at +51 degree Northern latitude) and the new CAMS New Zealand network (at -44 degree Southern latitude). Center top is Northern Apex source, center bottom the Southern Apex source, while to the right is the Antihelion source.
2014, October 4 - The new southern hemisphere CAMS New Zealand network, operated by Ian Crumpton and Peter Aldous, produced its first 522 meteoroid trajectories in September following installation on September 11. The off-line data reduction pipeline is working well. The daily tally is: 60 (9/11), 44 (9/15), 90 (9/17), 84 (9/18), 86 (9/19), 31 (9/21), 74 (9/22), 26 (9/29), and 27 (9/30). Not a single night was fully clear during this period. Geraldine was down 9/23 to 9/28, while West Melton worked uninterupted.
2014, October 3 - Carl Johannink reports that the CAMS at BeNeLux network captured 1293 meteors in September.
2014, October 3 - Thanks to assistance from Matthew, Robert, Dave and station operator Peter Aldous, the LAN at Geraldine Observatory is configured now to upload the CAMS data autonomously, as does the station at West Melton. Data gathered so far were also uploaded.
2014, September 21 - Greetings from Pitt Island (part of the Chatham Islands of New Zealand), where Peter Jenniskens engaged the community in searching for meteorites from an 0.82 kiloton fireball detected on May 16, 12:42:48 UT. The fireball was recorded by satellites from orbit and a nearby infrasound station on the main island, as first pointed out by Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario. In a project with meteor astronomer Jack Baggaley of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, Jenniskens collected eye witness reports to refine the search area and gave talks at all schools on the islands. On Pitt Island, he was hosted by Suzanne Kiel, prinicipal at the Pitt Island school. Land owners and Department of Conservation staff gave permission to search. The search is ongoing. So far, only a beautifully carved Moriori adze (a hand ax) was found by assistant teacher, and small part Maori, Stacey Crawford.
2014, September 18 - The camera box at West Melton was slightly further tilted towards Geraldine for better coverage. The combined coverage map shows (white) gaps where only one camera covers the region at 90-km altitude. Amateur astronomers in the area interested in helping cover these areas by means of their own single-CAMS camera should contact Ian Crumpton in West Melton.
2014, September 13 - First light. Radiant positions of the 60 meteors filmed in the first night of operation of CAMS New Zealand. Several meteor showers are detected.
2014, September 13 - This double-peaked +3.3 magnitude meteor moving from 88 to 80 km altitude is the first meteor captured by the CAMS New Zealand network, which occurred at 07:48 UT on September 11. In this partially cloudy night, 60 precise meteor trajectories were measured. The first of the new network. The figure shows the lightcurve of the meteor (top left), a side view of the trajectory (bottom left) and a top view (top right). This relatively slow (15.8 km/s) meteor arrived from a -66.7 degree declination (and 303.9 degree right ascension) in the southern hemisphere.
2014, September 13 - This figure (courtesy of Dave Samuels) shows the coverage area of the CAMS New Zealand stations West Melton and Geraldine. Click on image for higher resolution.
2014, September 12 - This morning, around 6 a.m. (13h UT), a streak and white cloud was observed by hundreds in the San Francisco Bay area. Wes Jones in Belmont captured these images of the cloud as it dissipated. Update: According to the news, this was the result of a Trident launch.
2014, September 11 - Station Geraldine. As of 10 pm this evening, local time, the CAMS New Zealand network is in full operation. Photographer, supernova hunter and connaisseur of "pretty astronomy pictures" Peter Aldous in Geraldine is host to the second station aimed towards West Melton. Peter and Ian installed a small platform, prepared by Graeme Plank, next to the Geraldine Obervatory dome and the computer was setup inside the control room. The cameras were focussed on the stars. Relatives of Ian stopped by and received the first public tour of the newly upgraded Geraldine Observatory.
2014, September 10 - Station West Melton of the CAMS New Zealand network is now operational. Operator Ian Crumpton is seen here with the camera box. He created a small platform for the camera box and worked with University of Canterbury technician Graeme Plank to install the cameras. The first night of operations was clear and cold (-3 degrees Celcius). Now waiting for the second station in Geraldine to be installed.
2014, September 8 - Peter Jenniskens has left for New Zealand to visit Canterbury Astronomical Society members Ian Crumpton and Peter Aldous in setting up a southern hemisphere meteor survey in a joint project with Prof. Jack Baggaley of the University of Canterbury.
2014, September 5 - Some isolated radar reflections in Doppler weather radar data gathered by Jason Utas suggest that 10-g meteorites may have fallen from the June 2, 09:48:28 UT, fireball (see update below). So far, no meteorites have been found.
2014, September 5 - Dave Samuels reports an updated layout of the SingleCAMS network in California. He developed a new CAMS Pointing Tool based on software created by Chris Verness of Belgium to create such maps.
2014, August 23 - This Saturday is the annual Starbeque at Fremont Peak Observatory. A barbeque combined with talk (Brian Day on Ladee) and stargazing. Interested in setting up your own CAMS camera? Join us to hear the latest on the CAMS project. The event starts at 4:30 pm, Saturday August 23.
MAPS August issue cover: The October 17, 2012, Novato meteorite fall in images taken from Santa Rosa by Robert P. Moreno, Jr., compliation by J. Albers and P. Jenniskens. [Higher resolution version]
2014, August 15 - Two manuscripts from a consortium study of the Novato meteorite will be published in the August issue of the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science. [Manuscripts online at EarlyView] [NASA press release]
[Youtube video news story]
2014, August 11 - J. Andreas (Andy) Howell reports from Gainesville, Florida, that a two-station Single-CAMS network was established with Barbara Harris at New Smyrna Beach. First light was during the Camelopardalid shower. In two months, over 500 Coincidences were contributed to the CAMS trajectory database.
July 19, 2014 - On June 2, at 09:48:28 UT, a fireball brighter than Novato appeared over Discovery Bay and Tracy, California, and descended in the direction of Patterson on a steep 59 degree inclined path. Just north of this town, small 1-10g meteorites may have fallen. The fireball was captured by all CAMS stations, but in Sunnyvale it appeared through fog. The fireball dramatically eruprted with a peak in brightness around 50-60 km altitude, and faded not until about 42 km. The high altitudes point to a frail object, with a lightcurve similar to that of past carbonaceous chondrites. The entry speed was about 19-20 km/s, arriving from an asteroidal orbit with perihelion distance at 1.0 AU and an eccentricity of about 0.61. Winds were from the West and South-West, which would have drifted the meteorites to the East. Preliminary calculations for the predicted fall locations by Peter Jenniskens are shown in the figure above. The white line is the ground-projected fireball path, the yellow line the predicted location of fallen meteorites. Calculations were made for a nominal density of 2.1 g/cm3. Results for a density of 3.3 g/cm3 are also shown.
Update: Purple areas show possible radar reflections from fallen meteorites, in data gathered by Jason Utas.
July 14, 2014 - During the 2014 Asteroids, Comets, Meteors conference in Helsinki, it was announced that the International Astronomical Union has named main belt asteroids after CAMS team members Pete Gural and Jim Albers.
June 16, 2014 - SETI Institute Research Experiences for Undergraduates program students Bethany Kelley and Andrew Crump have arrived at the SETI Insitute and will work over the summere to assist in CAMS data reduction and the analysis of meteor light curves.
CAMS during testing at the Physics Department, University of Canterbury, Christchurch. Watching are Jack Baggaley (left) and technician Graeme Plank.
June 10, 2014 - Jack Baggaley reports that the heating cables are finally being shipped from Australia and that, once they arrive, Canterbury Astronomical Society amateur astronomer and astrophotographer Peter Aldous will be host to the station in Geraldine. He visited Aldous two weeks ago to confirm the location. The second station will temporarily be operated from the roof of the Physics Department of the University of Canterbury at Christchurch, and then be moved a location in West Melton hosted by former Canterbury Astronomical Society president Ian Crumpton.