The Geminids are a meteor shower caused by an object known as 3200 Phaethon. After the celestial body "died" its parts were scattered across its elliptical orbit in the Solar System.
Once the orbit of our own planet crossed that of 3200 Phaethon, the debris fall into Earth's atmosphere. They travel at a speed of about 22 mi (35 km) per second and ignite. When seen from Earth, they look like shooting stars that are on fire - something truly beautiful and mystical.
The radiant of the meteors in the shower comes from the Gemini constellation, which is where it gets its name from.
The Geminids can be seen every year in December, although they appear brightest on the night of the 14th going into the 15th. The intensity of the meteor shower grows with each passing year, making it easy to spot even without special equipment.
Experts state that the 1st detailed description of the Geminids was from 150 years ago - not that long ago in comparison to other meteor showers, such as the Perseids for example. Even so, some amateur astronomers allow that they were observed much earlier. Back then, people couldn't explain the appearance of the impressive meteor shower.
What we know is that back in the early centuries, meteor showers were something quite strange and even terrifying to our ancestors. In ancient times, people would give meteors all sorts of meanings and see signs in them.
There have even been times when their onset would outright scare everyone, causing humanity to tremble in terror. They believed that meteors were carriers of sinister forces and harbingers of wars, diseases and hardship.
In Roman times there originated the claim that meteors were actually candles lit by angels in the sky. Each of them was designed for a corresponding soul on Earth from the very angel that guards and watches over that same person.
Meteors were also associated with dragons and other mythical beasts. A falling meteor was also thought to be a magical event.
In fact, in ancient times people believed that the sky was where they could receive signs and messages from the gods. That was why they kept a close watch on anything and everything appearing in the sky.