The Geminids meteor shower takes place every year as the Earth passes through the debris field of ‘extinct comet’ 3200 Phaethon and is often the highlight of every stargazer’s year, thanks to its bright, multi-colored fireballs.
Asteroid 3200 Phaethon was first discovered in 1983 and is the third-largest potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroid (NEO) we know of, with a diameter of 5km, or roughly half the size of the space rock which helped drive the dinosaurs to extinction 65 million years ago.
The Geminids will begin on the evening of December 4 and peak between December 14 and 15, with an expected peak rate of 88 meteors per hour, before it finally wraps up on December 17.
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