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Uploaded on Nov 23, 2009
We are here in Nagarkot, Nepal, a tourist site at the edge of the Kathmandu valley, in order to observe a rare encounter of Earth with two old dust trails of comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. The dust trails were ejected in 1466 and1533, at a time when the heirs to the trone of the local king split the valley in four separate kingdoms, the rivalry between which led to much of the great architecture and rich culture here. The dust has now circulated 14, resp. 16, times around the Sun and is about to hit the Earth. We hope. The ministery of Science and Technology of Nepal is providing support to enable us to see the expected shower tonight. We have been given lodging at the National Observatory of Nepal, with a wonderful observing location from a platform overlooking the Kathmandu Valley and the nearby Himalaya's. Last night we tested our cameras, under a clouded sky. This morning we saw the sun rise, together with a large group of tourists, from a nearby hill and, lo and behold, noticed a sliver of blue sky. So we are hoping things will clear up for tonight.