Author: ASHLEY STRICKLAND, CNN

The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks Friday and Saturday

The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most active and dependable displays of the year, according to the American Meteor Society. This year, the shower will peak on the evening of December 13 and 14, so hope for clear skies that will let you see a beautiful show of green fireballs.

Hubble catches interstellar comet as it flies past the sun

The Hubble Space Telescope had a front row seat to capture the best and closest image to date of interstellar comet 2I/Borisov, a visitor that originated from outside of our solar system. On Sunday, the comet passed within 190 million miles of Earth on its closest approach before continuing on through our solar system.

Water found 1 in. beneath Martian surface could help future astronauts

When the first astronauts land on Mars, they won't be able to take everything they need with them. The logistics and weight of transporting so much material on one spacecraft, along with a crew, defies current technology. While scientists at NASA have discussed missions to deliver materials to the Red Planet ahead of a manned mission, there may be resources on Mars that can be used.

Real-life planets you may have first seen in a 'Star Wars' film

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was a breathtaking diversity of planets. From the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, rebel ships and Imperial cruisers, we've seen a colorful variety of them come into view. Harsh deserts baked by twin suns, craggy caverns, lush forests, water worlds, mineral-coated surfaces, inhospitable ice, inhabited moons and even lava worlds have greeted our gaze.

NASA mission catches asteroid ejecting material into space

NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission arrived at near-Earth asteroid Bennu a year ago, and the spinning top-shaped space rock has been full of surprises. The latest findings now classify it as an active asteroid with observable events happening on the surface.

Ultra-massive black hole breaks record

Much like stars and planets, black holes also fall into different categories. Astronomers have now spotted a record-breaking heavyweight black hole at the center of a galaxy known as Holm 15A. The black hole weighs 40 billion times the mass of our sun.

Inbreeding may have helped cause Neanderthals to go extinct

Neanderthals went extinct around 40,000 years ago -- about the same time that modern humans migrated out of Africa. This has led researchers to believe that modern humans won the competition for resources, leading to the demise of Neanderthals.

The black hole that helps baby stars

Black holes are known as destructive forces in the universe, shredding stars and using immense gravity to pull in gas, dust and light. But astronomers have witnessed a black hole that is actually helping to nurture and spark the birth of baby stars across multiple galaxies more than one million light-years from its origin.

This is one place on Earth where no life can exist

Life exists in extreme environments on Earth, from arid deserts and frozen tundras to thermal, toxic vents in the deepest reaches of the ocean floor. But it can't exist on every inch of the planet and scientists have discovered a place in Ethiopia where life can't find a way, according to a new study.

Rover explores the solar system's oceans

Astronomers have uncovered increasing evidence that some bodies in our solar system, like Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus, are actually ocean worlds.

Leonid meteor shower peaks this weekend

In the early morning hours on Monday, the Leonid meteor shower will send shooting stars across the sky. Look up on Saturday and Sunday night as well to spot bright meteors with trains streaming behind them.

The Mars 2020 rover lands February 2021

When the Mars 2020 rover lands on the Red Planet in February 2021, it will touch down in Jezero Crater, the site of a lake that existed 3.5 billion years ago. Now, two research teams have identified areas in Jezero Crater where the rover might find signs of ancient life.

Curiosity rover detects oxygen behaving strangely on Mars

Since it landed in Gale Crater in 2012, the Curiosity rover has been studying the Martian surface beneath its wheels to learn more about the planet's history. But Curiosity also stuck its nose in the air for a big sniff to understand the Martian atmosphere.