Rogue planets may come from ‘twisted Tatooine’ binary star systems

Star Wars fans will definitely get a kick out of binary star systems nicknamed “Tatooine” systems – a reference to the planet Luke Skywalker stands on to stare at the twin suns in Star Wars: A New Hope. It turns out that some planets in the real-life versions of these systems may have gotten a … Read more

Why do astronomers look for signs of life on other planets based on what life is like on Earth?

Curious Kids is a series for children of all ages. If you have a question that you would like an expert to answer, please send it to Curiouskidsus@theconversation.com. Why do astronomers look for signs of life on other planets based on what life is like on Earth? Couldn’t there be completely different types of life … Read more

‘Dinky’ asteroid has a tiny companion that’s baffling astronomers

Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news about fascinating discoveries, scientific developments and more. Astronomers were in for a surprise when NASA’s Lucy mission flew past an asteroid called Dinkinesh in November and spotted a contact binary star — two smaller space rocks touching each other — orbiting the … Read more

‘Dinky’ asteroid has a tiny companion that’s baffling astronomers

Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news about fascinating discoveries, scientific developments and more. Astronomers were in for a surprise when NASA’s Lucy mission flew past an asteroid called Dinkinesh in November and spotted a contact binary star — two smaller space rocks touching each other — orbiting the … Read more

Massive new NASA exoplanet catalog reveals 126 extreme and exotic worlds

A new catalog of 126 extrasolar worlds contains a plethora of newly discovered planets – some extreme and exotic in nature, but others could potentially support life as we know it. The mix of planets in the catalog is further evidence of the vast and wild variety of worlds beyond our cosmic backyard; it even … Read more

Do all planets have magnetic fields?

Red and blue lines extend from the Earth’s north pole. One of the Earth’s defining features is its magnetic field. It forms a protective shield against high-energy particles emitted through the air Sun and thus arguably provided life with a safer place to grow into the complex array of organisms we see today. The most … Read more

‘God of Destruction’ asteroid Apophis will come to Earth in 2029 – and could encounter a small spacecraft

In just under half a decade, a 1,000-foot (305-meter) wide asteroid named after the Egyptian god of chaos and destruction, Apophis, will pass within 30,000 miles (48,300 kilometers) of Earth. Scientists do not intend for the rare close passage of a space rock of this size to be lost. On April 13, 2029 – a … Read more

Citizen scientists find remarkable exoplanet named after Harry Potter character

Citizen scientists sifting through data collected by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) have discovered a record-breaking world and given it a memorable nickname: Percival, after the father of Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books. In more official terms, however, the extrasolar planet, or ‘exoplanet’, is called TOI 4633 c. … Read more

Scientists say they have traced the origin of a potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid to the far side of the moon

Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news about fascinating discoveries, scientific developments and more. An unusual asteroid traveling near Earth is believed to be part of the moon, but exactly how it zoomed through the solar system has remained a mystery. Now researchers say they have made an important … Read more

Scientists say they have traced the origin of a potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid to the far side of the moon

Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news about fascinating discoveries, scientific developments and more. An unusual asteroid traveling near Earth is believed to be part of the moon, but exactly how it zoomed through the solar system has remained a mystery. Now researchers say they have made an important … Read more