2019, April 18 - Andy Howell of CAMS Florida and Erika Kisvarsanyi of the College of Central Florida (CCF) report that the new 8-camera station (CAMS 5020-5027) is installed on the roof of the science building at the College of Central Florida. Prof. Kisvarsanyi writes:"It comes at a time when the college is just getting an introductory astronomy course up and running, so the project has been great to share with my students!" The power receptacle uses a GPS LightLock switch that turns camera power on after sunset and off before sunrise. It automatically adjusts to location and time of year, and resets automatically after a power outage. The camera box has two small, watertight vents to equalize pressure inside & outside. The 7-inch optical window is TruVue Optium acrylic which blocks 97% of UV light, is anti-reflection coated, and has a hard coat that makes it similar to glass. Acrylic has the same coefficient of thermal expansion as the polycarbonate box, to minimize stress on the sealant at the interface. A 10W heater inside the box gives just enough warmth to prevent dewing. The computer is located inside the science building.
2019, April 11 - Luke Juneau of CAMS Arkansas, and Scott Austin of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, report that a new station has been installed at the Observatory of UCA in Conway. Dave Samuels is updating the software environment.
2019, April 2 - Peter Jenniskens and Jack Baggaley announced today in CBET telegram 4617 that Ian Crumpton and Peter Aldous of CAMS NewZealand detected a brief outburst of 5 meteors from comet C/1907 G1 (Grigg-Mellish) on March 31 in the nine minutes between 17:36 and 17:45 UTC (see the CAMS radiant map for March 31). According to Jenniskens, this is the first instrumental evidence that this comet is a meteor shower parent, after visual observers long reported an annual shower named the delta Pavonids (IAU 120, DPA) radiating from the theoretical radiant of this comet. The poorly observed comet could be of long period type (orbital period > 200 years), in which case the outburst is dust ejected in the previous return and future outbursts can now be predicted. If the comet is of Halley-type (orbital period 112-200 years), then the outburst could be from a number of different returns and the activity could signal the return of the comet.
2019, March 25 - Under the supervision of FPOA board member Eric Egland, a regular internet connection was installed at Fremont Peak Observatory today. Photo shows the technicians of Razzolink adjusting the antenna. The new capability will greatly improve the CAMS operations in the California network.
2019, March 25 - The CAMS station at Fremont Peak Observatory captured the beginning part of the February 21 fireball near Monterey.
2019, March 19 - Hans Betlem reports that the journal "Radiant, Journal of the Dutch Meteor Society" is available again starting this year. In the past years, the journal was edited by Koen Miskotte as "e-Radiant". To celebrate, Hans created this Photo book of 40 years of DMS.
2019, March 18 - Tim Cooper reports that he placed the eight Watec Wat902H cameras in the enclosure at station Bredell, just east of Johannesburg in South Africa. Dave Samuels updated the software scripts during the week and all is running well. Next step will be to set up the station at HartRAO in the same way.
2019, March 12 - Mohammad Odeh reports that another slow-moving fireball was captured by the UAE Astronomical Camera Network. This one moved in down-wind direction so that small meteorites were blown towards the larger ones, creating a compact strewn field not far from UACN station 3, but just across the border with Oman.
2019, March 5 - Repairs paid off immediately for the UAE Astronomical Camera Network. A bright fireball was detected that may have scattered meteorites in the desert south of Abu Dhabi. Mohammad Odeh reports that searches are underway, but the local sand is very loose and small rocks quickly sink into it.
2019, March 4 - Paul Roggemans reports that the March 2019 issue of eMeteorNews is now online. It contains a number of CAMS related news. All eMeteorNews issues are free for download, no membership, no subscription.
2019, February 13 - Mohammad Odeh reports that maintenance at UACN1 was completed. Photo shows engineer Ali Naser adjusting the cameras. The PC power supply was replaced.
2019, February 2 - Glenn Newell of Fremont reports that a new camera 270 is now in operation to strengthen the CAMS California network.
2019, February 1 - The SETI Institute has received a private donation to help expand the CAMS network. Among the funded projects is regular internet access to Fremont Peak Observatory.
2019, January 29 - Luke Juneau of CAMS Arkansas (right in picture) visited CAMS headquarters at the SETI Institute today, on the occasion of the "Big Think" for this year's FDL program. Image also shows Peter Jenniskens (left) and the dedicated PC that processes the CAMS data and displays the results on the Meteor Shower Celestial Sphere using automation developed under one of the 2017 FDL projects.
2019, January 1 - 2018 has been a stellar year. Just based on the tally of orbits in the database now (still to be cleaned up mind you), the total of raw orbits this year is 186,500. LOCAMS, CAMS Forida, and the CAMS BeNeLux network significantly expanded. Three new networks came online: EXOSS, Arkansas and Northern California. The efficiency of the other networks improved thanks to outstanding initiatives by Dave Samuels and Steve Rau. 2019 is also looking up: Florida, Arkansas, mid-Atlantic and EXOSS are promising to grow fast in the new year. And, if all goes well, 2019 should also see the network in South Africa come back online.
Orbits measured in 2018 (Raw data):
CAMS Arkansas: 2,595; CAMS BeNeLux: 49,690; CAMS California: 68,329; EXOSS: 400; CAMS Florida: 5,654; LOCAMS: 45,230; CAMS New Zealand: 3,201; CAMS Northern California: 818; and UACN: 10,583!
2019, January 1 - Happy hunting for meteor outbursts this year! The above graph shows the meteor shower activity on New Year's eve. The UAE, Florida, Arkansas and California had a clear night.
2018, December 27 - Dave Samuels met with the operator of the CAMS Arkansas network, Luke Juneau, at the North Star ski resort near Lake Tahoe today.
2018, November 20 - Jim Albers reported that a bright meteor was detected high in the sky in Sunnyvale at 03:37:38 UTC on November 20. Hazy skies from the Camp Fire smoke did not dim the spectacle much. Both Lick Observatory and Fremont Peak detected this meteor, recording fragmentation towards the end. Triangulation of the observations showed this to be a Northern Taurid with an apparent radiant at R.A. = 63.38 +/- 0.08 degrees, Declination 24.67 +/- 0.06 degrees, and speed 29.89 +/- 0.06 km/s (Vg = 27.4 km/s). The semi-major axis of the orbit is 2.17 AU, close to the 2.22 AU of comet 2P/Encke.
The November 20 Taurid in all-sky imaging at Sunnyvale and the ATA stations.
2018, November 18 - This is the season of the Leonid meteor shower. Other showers are active also, including the Orionids, the radiant of which has now significantly shifted away from Orion.
2018, November 17 - Dave Samuels has made a big effort to improve the scripts and update the archiving system at several of the networks so that hard disk space is more efficiently used.
2018, November 1 - The November issue of eMeteorNews is now available online and free to download. It contains several CAMS related articles by Paul Roggemans, Carl Johannink, and Andy Howell.
2018, October 30 - The Japanese broadcasting company NHK filmed at the CAMS trailer at Lick Observatory today. Picture above shows one of the meteors captured the night prior.
2018, October 27 - Mohammad Odeh visited UACN3 today, cleaned the camera box from sand, and replaced some of the cameras. The station is again in good working order.
CAMS setup at ERAU in Prescott, Arizona
2018, October 16 - Brian Rachford reports that the ERAU camera are taken down today so they can be newly pointed and equipped with more powerful 8-mm f1.0 lenses. The cameras will also be covered in dark cloth to prevent glare. The cameras are part of the LO-CAMS network and are located at the observatory of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.
2018, October 16 - Strong activity of the October Ursae Majorids this year, especially in CAMS BeNeLux data. [select 2018-10-16 here]
2018, October 15 - Dave Samuels has upgraded the software environment of the CAMS New Zealand network to conform with the methods used elsewhere in the CAMS network. The detection rate has significantly improved.
2018, October 9 - An outburst of Draconids was well recorded by the CAMS BeNeLux network. The tail of activity was also recorded by the CAMS Arkansas (Luke Juneau) and CAMS California networks. A CBET telegram was issued. [select 2018-10-09 here]
2018, October 6 - Good activity of the October Camelopardalids this year. [select 2018-10-06 here]
2018, September 26 - Luke Juneau completed an 8-camera mobile third station for the CAMS Arkansas network. New camera numbers will need to be assigned when the station is at a new location.
2018, August 13 - Perseids over Fremont Peak Observatory.
2018, August 14 - Some 240,000 people viewed cams data in Ian's planetarium program in the wake of the APOD. The portal to this tool is known to far fewer people. But not in Portugal. The country of Portugal topped the list of users of the portal during the Perseids.
2018, August 11 - Nick Moskovitz reports that meteors are now being tracked above Meteor Crater in Arizona. At a distance of 35 miles from Lowell Observatory, the visitor center on the rim of Meteor Crater is the ideal location for triangulation.
2018, August 11 - FPOA board member Ric Babcock photographed this Perseid next to M27, the Dumbbell Nebula, from Fremont Peak Observatory on Saturday morning.
2018, August 8 - Ian Webster's animation of the Perseid meteoroid stream from CAMS data was chosen as today's Astronomy Picture of the Day.
2018, August 3 - The Perseid meteor shower is becoming more active with the day. Click here to see from which direction meteors are coming to us. Picture shows the situation on August 2. Earth encounters the densest parts of the Perseid stream on Sunday August 13. Early in the evening there will be many long grazing streaks in a moon-less night. Saturday night should be good too, but especially after midnight when the radiant is high in the sky.
2018, July 19 - Andy Howell reports that, thanks to a generous donation from the Asterion Foundation (Mike Toomey), the CAMS Florida network has expanded with 8 extra cameras (numbers 5000-5007) currently being tested in Gainesville.
2018, July 15 - Jon Richards and Jim Albers report that lightning passed at some distance by the ATA array in the early morning of June 15 UT, which was recorded by the GFO camera.
2018, July 13 - Jim Albers reports that CAMS Sunnyvale (cameras 516, 517, 520) captured a spectacular meteor on July 13 at 10:19:30 UTC, leaving a persistent train between clouds. At Lick Observatory (cameras 553 and 565), the meteor was so much behind clouds it did not track. Fortunately, Foresthill (Jim Wray, camera 256) had clear weather. The geocentric radiant was at R.A. = 24.17 +/- 0.07, Decl. = +43.58 +/- 0.07 degrees, and geocentric speed 61.50 +/- 0.02 km/s. The meteor was not reported by visual observers to the American Meteor Society.
2018, July 6 - A fresh-looking 18-g meteorite was found in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve during a search effort dedicated to finding debris from asteroid 2018 LA. The search was guided by Peter Jenniskens and conducted by three Botswana institutes, the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), the Botswana Geosience Institute (BGI) and the University of Botswana at Maun Okavango Research Institute (ORI), and supported by Central Kalahari Game Reserve staff. Peter Jenniskens teamed with Oliver Moses of ORI (to the right in image above) and recovered video security camera footage in Maun and Rakops that helped constrain the disruption point and focus the search. Images were calibrated from star background by Jim Albers. Tim Cooper from ASSA calibrated videos to the south. Jelle Assink and Laslo Evers of the KNMI provided atmospheric wind data. The first meteorite was found by team member Lesedi Seitshiro on Saturday June 23 (center front in photo).
2018, June 20 - Ray Forbes and observatory manager Brian Ranchford are reporting that the new CAMS setup at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) campus in Prescott, Arizona, is in operation. Dave Samuels set up the software environment. The setup contributes to the LO-CAMS network headed by Nick Moskovitz at Lowell Observatory. The LO-CAMS clear-sky numbers just increased from 70 or so per night to 120 or so per night. Congratulations!
2018, June 11 - Jim Albers reports that the low-light video all-sky camera in Sunnyvale captured several bright meteors in the night of June 11, 2018, between 6:07 and 11:16 UTC. Five originated in one shower.
2018, June 10 - Based on CAMS BeNeLux data, Paul Roggemans and Peter Cambell-Burns published reports on the Eta Lyrids (ELY-145), x Herculids (XHE-346), Alpha Aquariids (AAQ-927) and February Hydrids (FHY-1032) in the recent June 2018 issue of MeteorNews. The new issue also contains a report on the 11 March 2018 meeting of CAMS BeNeLux. The eMeteorNews website has moved to here.
2018, June 7 - Carl Johannink reports that one of the CAMS BeNeLux stations is temporary down due to severe overheating of a PC. Please check that your cooling fans are in good working order (and if you use a framegrabber dongle that this is not getting too hot) and make sure that the PC is positioned well away from flammable items.
2018, June 2 - A small asteroid 2018 LA impacted Earth's atmosphere over Botswana today after it was spotted in space 8 hours prior by the Catalina Sky Survey (Richard Kowalski).