Draconid Meteor Shower Normally meteor showers can be seen in the early morning sky, but Draconid meteor shower is different from others. We can see it in the evening sky. In this instance, 10 meteors per hour get released near the star constellation Draco and these can appear anywhere in the sky. It can be seen in its extreme intensity on 6th October. Geminds Meteor ShowerThis meteor shower consists of very attractive, different colors. This is the best meteor shower which can be seen this year. The specialty of this meteor shower is that one meteor slowly spreads through the sky. This meteor shower occurs due to the remaining particles of an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon and spreads near star constellation Gemini. Around 120 meteors occur per hour and can be seen in extreme intensity on 13th December night and 14th December morning.Ursids Meteor Shower Several meteor showers are to be visible from Sri Lanka this month, the Ministry of Science Technology and Research said today.The Ministry said that the Draconid, Orionids Orion, Taurids Tours, Leonids Leo, Urside and Geminids Gemini will be visible over the next several weeks. Orionids Meteor ShowerThis shower occurs due to the particles remaining from the comet Halley. In this occurrence, around 20 meteors per hour get released near the star constellation Orion and they can be noticed anywhere in the sky. It can be observed in its peak on 21st and 22nd October. Taurids Meteor ShowerThis meteor shower is also a little bit unusual. It is observed as two separate light steams. One light beam occurs due to asteroid 2004 TG10 and the other occurs due to the remaining of the comet 2P Encke. Furthermore, 5 to 10 meteors are released per hour. Although this meteor shower occurs near Tours star constellation, it can be seen anywhere in the sky. On 4th November it can be observed in maximum intensity.Leonids Meteor Shower This meteor shower occurs due to the dust particles and grains left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle. Normally 15 meteors can be observed per hour. This meteor shower occurring near star constellation Leo, activates once in 33 years emitting 100 meteors per hour since comet Temple-Tuttle comes near the earth once in 33 years. This happened in 2001 and will occur once again in the year 2034. This meteor shower can be seen in this year, its peak on 17th and 18th November in the morning sky. This is a minor meteor shower consisting of a small number of meteors, 5 to 10 meteors are released per hour. This occurs due to the remaining dust particles from comet Tuttle. It occurs near the star constellation Ursa Minor and can be observed in maximum intensity on 21st and 22nd December.
Clasping the hand of a young child on either side of him, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres strides across a bridge over a river separating two countries, a symbol of both hope in the future and the daunting challenges that could derail it in one of the world’s many war-torn regions. The children, wearing new white T-shirts emblazoned with the word ‘Hope,’ look serious, their faces caught halfway between a diffidence born of a difficult past and the glimmer of hope for a better future. The West African scene, an iconic moment in this year’s celebration of World Refugee Day, is a microcosm of the enormous tasks facing UNHCR as it tackles the crisis of more than 8 million people around the world who have fled their countries because of conflict or oppression – in itself a mere drop in the ocean but bearer of an indelible message. “Our experience has shown that half of the countries that solve their conflicts, return to conflict within five years,” Mr. Guterres said yesterday as he led the two children and more than 120 other people across the bridge from Sierra Leone to Liberia on their return to a homeland that has only recently found a fragile calm after years of war. “That is why Liberia needs attention now, not in two or three years. We need to mobilize resources for immediate gains,” he added, meeting a convoy of 125 returnees at Liberia’s Bo Waterside area on the Mano River as they came back home from camps in Sierra Leone. There, he climbed aboard a truck with 15 refugees, arriving 40 minutes later at the Sinje transit centre, where the returnees were to spend a night before heading to their home villages. “Everybody has a right to a place called home,” Mr. Guterres told them, while warning of the difficulties ahead and calling for more help from the international community. He said Liberia deserved that help after 14 years of war and noted that the impoverished country was setting an example by hosting almost 20,000 refugees from neighbouring countries. Since October 2004, when a ceasefire back by UN peacekeepers ended the war between rival factions, UNHCR has helped repatriate some 69,000 Liberians, including 14,000 from Sierra Leone. As of the end of 2005, the number of refugees worldwide reached a 26-year low, dropping last year alone by 1.1 million. But that still left 8.4 million people needing urgent UNHCR aid in a country not their own. read more