The much-anticipated Camelopardalids display was a bust.
Although clear skies prevailed across much of Canada, there have been no reports of significant activity from the May 23/24 Camelopardalids, or “Camelopardal-duds,” as SkyNews contributor Ken Hewitt-White has wryly dubbed them. Ken’s experience was typical, noting “not enough sightings to get even remotely excited, not even one meteor per letter in the name Camelopardalids.”
I observed the event from Victoria, British Columbia, for an hour around the predicted peak of activity, and came up largely empty handed. I saw only one meteor that I could confidently attribute to the Camelopardalid stream. But observers on the other side of the country fared no better. Viewing from Yarker, Ontario, SkyNews editor Terence Dickinson was similarly skunked, reporting “numerous satellites drifted through but during the full hour not one meteor. Not one. It was a very pleasant night with no wind — and no meteors. Pity.”
Under the dark skies of Cypress Hills, Alberta, SkyNews associate editor Alan Dyer was all set to photograph the event. The results? “Meteors, yes. Cam meteors? Not one captured out of 300 frames shot, and visually I can’t say for sure any were Cams,” he said.
This is the part of the report where we’d normally say something along the lines of, “well, there’s always next year . . .” Unfortunately for the Cams, “next year” likely won’t come until 2022. Given the paucity of this year’s show, I’m not sure too many observers will be marking their calendars.