Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend
The 2019 Geminid meteor shower is happening now, and it peaks this weekend. The best morning is likely December 14, but try December 15, too; but both mornings will feature a bright moon.
According to Earthsky.org, this is a mysterious meteor shower because most are spawned by comets --- but 3200 Phaethon is an asteroid.
It also has an odd color for an asteroid. Most asteroids are dull grey to red, depending on the type of material on their surface. 3200 Phaethon is blue. Blue asteroids are known, but make up only a fraction of all known asteroids.
At its closest point, Phaethon is only 13 million miles from the sun. That’s less than half of Mercury’s closest distance.
It also was the first asteroid to be discovered via spacecraft on October 11, 1983. It's also BIG – about 3 miles wide.