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24th Nov 2017

A ‘Potentially Hazardous’ Asteroid Is Set To Skim Earth Days Before Christmas

Megan Cassidy

Experts have said that it’s “unlikely” an asteroid headed this way will destroy the earth. So that’s comforting. 

A three-mile wide asteroid is scheduled to “skim” the Earth on December 16th, and has been classified as “potentially dangerous” by the Minor Planet Centre. 

Scientists have named the asteroid 3200 Phaethon after a mythological Greek demi-God who attempted to set the Earth on fire, as legend would have it. (Again – not liking the sound of this). 

It will pass within 6.5 million miles of the earth, which is the closest an asteroid has been since 1974. 

3200 Phaethon was first observed in December 2007, and there won’t be another asteroid coming as close to the Earth until 2093. 

According to NASA, experienced observers will be able to view 3200 Phaethon using small telescopes – and it’s expected to be at it’s brightest between December 11th and 21st. 

However, stargazers will definitely want to watch out for the Geminid meteor shower which is set to be a spectacular show for ten nights in December. It peaks on December 13th and up to one hundred shooting stars an hour are expected. 

If we make it that far. *Jokes*.  

READ MORE: A Massive Sale On Flights To The Northern Lights Has Been Announced For Cyber Monday