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Leonids 2009 with Peter Jenniskens

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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.

Greetings from Nepal,
Peter Jenniskens

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