3200 Paethon, an oddity who's not alone
By: Taliesin Tyndall
Generally, Meteor Showers are also caused by the Earth intersecting with comets; and the icy debris thereof, often merely grains of sand, burn into a beautiful display of destruction.
The Geminids, on the other hand, are one of only two Showers, along with the Quadrantids, that are not caused by contact with a comet, but rather are caused when Earth intersects with an asteroid. Normally this is not possible because asteroids, being made of solid rock as opposed to melting ice, leave no trail for the Earth to collide with, but Phaethon is different. 3200 Paethon, during its orbit, passes abnormally near to the sun, and is ever so slightly melted leaving a trail of rocky, rather than icy, debris behind it as it travels. This earned it the title “rock comet.”
In the end, Phaethon was too young, and he was unable to drive the immortal horses. The sun began to descend and, as it began to scorch the earth, Zeus struck the young god dead with a thunderbolt, thus saving the Earth, but killing Phaethon. This past astronomical year in particular is of note because there were two celestial bodies at play in the shower, a thing never before witnessed.