Asteroid & # 39; potentially dangerous & # 39; to spend the Earth a few days before Christmas



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A giant asteroid will pbad through Earth a few days before Christmas.

The three-mile-wide phenomenon, called 3200 Phaethon, will graze the planet on December 16.

It is named after the Greek Demi-god who, according to legend, almost sets the Earth on fire. It is also clbadified as "potentially dangerous" by the Minor Planet Center.

It is established that it traverses the planet within 6.5 million miles, which in spatial terms, is relatively close.

However, it is not time to panic, since the asteroid is still about 27 times the distance from the moon and is unlikely to destroy the Earth, reports the Mirror.

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have plans to obtain a detailed 3D model of 3200 Phaeton, which is quite unusual in shape.

What is 3200 Phaethon?

The asteroid is thought to be the main body of the Geminid meteor shower, which this year should reach its peak on December 13.

This would make the Geminids one of two large meteor showers that do not come from a comet; the other is the Quadrantids in January, reports Cambridge.

Detected for the first time in December 2007, 3200 Phaethon is an asteroid, not a comet.

The main difference between asteroids and comets is their composition. Asteroids are made of metals and rocky material, while comets are made up of ice, dust and rocky material.

Comets that approach the Sun lose material with each orbit because part of the ice melts and vaporizes to form a tail. 19659002] Although 3200 Phaethon appears asteroidal most of the time, it occasionally shows low levels of activity when it approaches the sun, leading some astronomers to suggest that it is an inactive comet nucleus.

Earth since 1974, scientists will be watching closely to try to detect the "skirts" that are seen in the radar observations of the nuclei of active comets.

Will you be able to see the Esbad asteroid?

According to NASA, 3200 Phaethons are visible in small telescopes for experienced observers in areas with dark skies.

It is believed that the Geminid meteor shower comes from 3200 Paethod

It is potentially Delaware can be maintained for three weeks, but will be at its most Bright between December 11 and 21.

If you do not see the asteroid itself, be sure to watch the Geminid meteor shower, which is ready to deliver a spectacular spectacle. the course of ten nights in December, with up to 100 shooting stars every hour.

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