Hundreds of thousand of Neplese People watched Total solar Eclispe on July 22, 2009. The longest total solar Eclipse of 21st Century that crossed the half of the world took placed on Wednesday, 22 July, 2009.The once in a life time Total Solar Eclipse viewed from 14 districts while the partial eclipse observed from remaining 61 districts of Nepal from 05:45-07:47 hours in the morning. Maximum of 3:49 min of totality was seen from Bhadrapur according to our prediction. People from the path of totality felt strange during the Totality as their animals behaved as if the night had come.
Though Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) has predicted three good sites under the path of totality for the observation of Total Solar Eclipse which were Fikkal of Illam, Biratnagar of Morang and Gaighat of Udaypur districts,we planned to visit Biratnagar, second largest city of Nepal, regarding the weather conditions of the other two places. Unfortunately, we could not be there because of the Highway blockages by landslides due to heavy rain.
We organized a programme called Meet Your Scientists at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) between 14:00-17:00 hrs on 21 July 2009. Key speakers for the Programme were Er. Rishi Shah, Academician of NAST and President of NASO, Jayanta Acharya, Lecturer of Balmiki Campus and SPoC of IYA for Nepal, Suresh Bhattarai, Sudeep Neupane founder members of NASO. G.D. Pudasaini and Utsav Kandel, two men behind the Nepal’s First Astronomy Documentary gave brief introduction about the documentary.
We arranged Total Solar Eclipse Observation Campaign on July 22, 2009 at NAST in association with NAST from 05:00-8:00 Hrs. The programme was live on Sagarmatha Television which is Satellite television and has a wide area of coverage around the world. Honorable Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal attended the programme around 06:30 Hrs. We arrange special arrangement for the Interview of Prime Minister and President of NASO on BBC London. The event was highly covered my Different TV cannels Like Nepal One, Avenues Television, Nepal Television, National Television and the FM stations of nations. We were on live telephone interview in different Radio and FM stations from different parts of Nepal to tell about the Total solar Eclipse and partial Solar eclipse. The programme was attended by more than 3oo people.
Meanwhile Jayanta Acharya, IYA SPoC for Nepal, arranged a programme on Takshashila Academy which was live on Avenues Television from 05:30:08:00 Hrs on July 22. More than 500 people attended including the German Ambassador to Nepal Verena Graefin Von Roden.
B.P. Koirala Memorial Planetarium, Observatory and Science Museum Development Board arranged a programme at Kathmandu Mall to view the Partial Solar Eclipse which was live on Kantipur Television during the Eclipse. Another television cannel, Nepal One TV did live of the Eclipse from their Studio during the morning of July 22.
Those who had booked tickets of Special Mountain flight on Buddha Air and Yeti Air thinking they could be above the clouds were also not so lucky because the weather system had clouds soaring to above 45,000 ft.
Buddha Air had two Beechcraft 1900Ds in the air, but the path of totality was completely covered up by clouds and by the time the planes flew over Ilam, where it was clearer the umbra had moved northeastwards towards Bhutan. Yeti Air had one of its Jetstreams parked in Biratnagar overnight and took off to make a holding pattern to see the eclipse.
Although people saw the eclipse, Mr Everest was completely shrouded in dark clouds. There was however a moment when Cho Oyu and Gauri Shankhar came into view, bathed in ghostly gray eclipse twilight.