This dead star offers a glimpse into the eventual fate of our solar system

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By Ashley Strickland, CNN

Space is truly the last frontier.

Fifty-five years after the world met Captain James T. Kirk and his crew on the USS Enterprise, William Shatner was able to boldly go there.

The “Star Trek” actor has become the oldest person to ever travel to space. The trip lasted 10 minutes aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, but Shatner was incredibly moved by the “deep experience” of seeing “the life and education” of Earth.

Scientists today are living up to the words Shatner said in the show’s introduction half a century ago: explore strange new worlds and seek new life.

And today, NASA’s Lucy mission embarked on a quest to understand how our solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago.

He was a planet

Our corner of the universe may be experiencing a rude awakening, but we have 5 billion years to prepare.

Researchers observed a giant planet orbiting a white dwarf, or the remains of a dead star, at the heart of our galaxy. He showed what can happen in our solar system when the sun dies.

While Saturn and Jupiter will likely survive violent evolution, it is another story for the other planets.

Consequences

With sea level constantly rising, 50 major coastal cities are having to adapt in unprecedented ways to stay afloat, new research shows.

The results show striking visual contrasts between the world as we know it today and our underwater future, if the planet warms to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels.

Use our visual sliders to compare what Santa Monica Pier in California would look like and Buckingham Palace in London if global warming and sea level rise couldn’t be stopped. The sight of these iconic submerged places is striking.

Wild kingdom

Stunning photos revealing our wonderfully wild world won in 19 categories of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021 competition.

Photographers from 95 countries submitted a record 50,000 entries, with shots of a gorilla enjoying a rain shower and a spider’s web as an auto rickshaw passed India ( which was captured by a 10 year old child).

And take a peek at the cute side of wild animals with this litter of adorable newborn cheetahs.

Five cubs were born to cheetah mother Rosie on Tuesday morning at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia. You can watch the feline family through the Cheetah Cub Camera, which features live footage from the den. If you listen carefully, you can hear the little chirps.

Across the universe

A cosmic explosion explosion has been traced to a mysterious repetitive rapid radio burst in space called FRB 121102. Researchers detected 1,652 bursts over the course of 47 days.

Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are millisecond radio wave emissions into space. It has been traced to a small dwarf galaxy over 3 billion light years away.

Scientists have yet to determine the real cause of the flashes, and naturally everyone has a theory (hi, aliens!). But researchers suspect these celestial phenomena to be the most likely cause.

We are a family

As humans, it seems we have a long history of indulgences.

Archaeologists have discovered a 1,500-year-old wine factory in the Israeli town of Yavne after working hard at the site for two years. A famous brand of wine from the ancient world was probably made in the world’s largest wine factory during Byzantine times, they said.

Meanwhile, researchers studying fossilized poo have found that Iron Age Europeans enjoyed blue cheese and beer in their diets.

And charred seeds found in a home once owned by hunter-gatherers in Utah suggest humans used tobacco over 12,000 years ago, 9,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Curiosities

You never know what you’ll find:

– This “living fossil” creature was found in an incredibly unlikely location for the first time in documented history.

– An Australian-made rover will land on the moon in 2026 and collect lunar soil that may contain oxygen, which NASA hopes to extract.

– These carved stone statues were used as garden ornaments – until it was revealed that they were Egyptian relics dating back thousands of years.

Do you like what you read? Oh, but there is more. register here to receive the next edition of Wonder Theory, brought to your inbox, brought to you by writer CNN Space and Science Ashley Strickland, which finds wonders in planets beyond our solar system and discoveries of the ancient world.

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