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(fā`əthən, –tən) or


(fā`ətən), in Greek mythology, son of Helios and the nymph Clymene. He tried to drive his father's golden chariot, but he could not control its great steeds. As the chariot plunged to earth it burned Mt. Oeta and dried the Libyan Desert. The universe would have been destroyed by fire if Zeus had not killed Phaëthon with a thunderbolt.


((3200) Phaeton) A 6.9-km-diameter Apollo asteroid discovered in 1983 on photographs taken by the infrared satellite IRAS. Its unusual orbit (eccentricity 0.89, inclination 22.17?%) crosses the orbits of Mars, Earth, Venus, and Mercury and takes it to a perihelion of 0.14 AU from the Sun. This is the closest approach to the Sun of any known asteroid. Phaethon's 1.43-year orbit is almost identical to the Geminid meteoroid stream, and Phaethon is now generally assumed to be the parent of the Geminids. Before Phaethon's discovery meteor showers were thought to be associated only with comets, and there has been considerable debate as to whether it is an extinct comet.


ill-fated driver of the chariot of sun. [Gk. Myth.: Metamorphoses]
See: Flying
References in classic literature ?
Dora was at the breakfast-table to make the tea again, however; and I had the melancholy pleasure of taking off my hat to her in the phaeton, as she stood on the door-step with Jip in her arms.
This was the only exchange of words between them till about four o'clock; the phaeton, mounting the lane, 'opened out' the cottage between the leafy banks.
The servant, as in duty bound, dismounted and took the phaeton into his keeping; yet Dick thought he touched his hat to him with something of a grin.
The phaeton was driven onwards with the last words, leaving Mrs.
Cadwallader to the phaeton, and then jumped on his horse.
Cadwallader in her phaeton, without witnessing any interview that could excite suspicion, or any scene from which she did not return with the same unperturbed keenness of eye and the same high natural color.
Plenty of hackney cabs and coaches too; gigs, phaetons, large-wheeled tilburies, and private carriages - rather of a clumsy make, and not very different from the public vehicles, but built for the heavy roads beyond the city pavement.
This pony had a little phaeton behind him, and a man in it; but neither man nor phaeton seemed to embarrass him in the least, as he reared up on his hind legs, or stopped, or went on, or stood still again, or backed, or went side-ways, without the smallest reference to them--just as the fancy seized him, and as if he were the freest animal in creation.
Going about doing good, in pony phaetons,' as somebody says, may succeed in England, but it won't work here," said Fanny, who had begun, lately, to think a good deal of some one beside herself, and so found her interest in her fellow-beings increasing daily.
Auto Business News-November 24, 2015--Volkswagen to launch Phaeton with battery-powered drivetrain
THE Volkswagen Phaeton was a full Luxury segment saloon that ambitiously tried to bring Bentley build quality to a brand that was never seen as a credible choice by boardroom buyers in the Jaguar, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-dominated large four-door sector.
Herbert Diess announced major product decisions: a reorientation of the diesel strategy with the most advanced technologies, the development of a standardized electric architecture for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, and a new approach for the next generation of the Phaeton.