Is the 3200 Phaethon an extinct comet?



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    Yes.  It is an Apollo asteroid, which means it belongs to a group of asteroids near earth (so named because of the first one discovered, called Apollo).  It is also an extinct comet.  It was discovered in 1983, the first asteroid to be found by spacecraft.  Its diameter is 5.10 km and it goes closer to the sun than any numbered asteroid (which is the reason for its name, from Phaeton, son of sun god Helios- its surface temperature is very hot).

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