This forgotten species, thought to be extinct, was found on an island paradise

This forgotten species, thought to be extinct, was found on an island paradise
This forgotten species, thought to be extinct, was found on an island paradise

CNN

When I was a kid, excursions to the local science museum or planetarium were more appealing than any playground.

With a disposable camera in hand, I marveled that in one room a dinosaur fossil loomed over me, while in the other an Apollo capsule appeared to float. The things I learned created constellations of fascination.

My mom used to take me out regularly so we could explore the latest movie the depths of the ocean or check “Steggy” the stegosaurus. (There’s a photo of me with my arms around his neck somewhere.)

They say the things we love as children stay with us; That’s what came to mind this week when NASA announced the name of its moon-bound mannequin, voted by space fans. The name has had a special legacy that immediately brought me back to the first time I looked at the Apollo exhibit.

Thank you for joining our weekly expeditions through the wonders of this world and beyond. We love having you join us.

Comets, planets and stars flow through the sky breathtaking new images that capture the striking beauty of Earth and space.

Photographers from 75 countries submitted more than 4,500 images for the 2021 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

The images reveal natural wonders captured at a time when many were forced inside by the pandemic. Lucky for us, these photographers ventured out and set their sights on the sky.

Winners will be announced in September, so check back to see how your favorites are doing.

Dinosaurs were doomed to disappear from Earth when a city-sized asteroid collided with our planet 66 million years ago. But new research suggests these creatures didn’t really thrive before that fateful attack.

Scientists studied 1,600 dinosaur fossils, representing 247 species, to track their evolution.

The dino populations did well until something suddenly ended their success millions of years before the asteroid impact.

The research, which contradicts other recent studies, suggests two different factors that contributed to the decline of the dinosaurs before they finally came to an end.

This illustration paints an artistic picture of what happens when a black hole swallows a neutron star.

Carl Knox/OzGrav/Swinburne

This illustration paints an artistic picture of what happens when a black hole swallows a neutron star.

Imagine Pac-Man, but on an astronomical scale. Researchers discovered space-time ripples called gravitational waves from a rare celestial event: a black hole gobbling up a neutron star. And it happened twice, with individual cases being detected in January 2020.

These celestial dances of death, in which neither neutron star came out alive, happened long ago in galaxies far, far away.

Scientists also discovered a new type of supernova this week. Originally predicted to exist 40 years ago, the explosion of a star conforming to the theory was observed by astronomers — and it was explains a famous supernova so bright you can see it during the day when it happened in 1054.

The findings of both discoveries could help scientists unravel secrets of the universe.

Record-breaking temperatures soaring well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) have sent the typically cool Pacific Northwest into an early summer heat. A lot of have struggled to find creative ways to cool down because so many homes in Washington and Oregon don’t have air conditioning; they never needed it.

But what is to blame for this unprecedented heat wave?

A heat dome over the area, thanks to our changing climate.

It’s just the beginning, experts say — and there will be more surprising places for heat waves in the future.

These mice never left -- they just hung out on an island.

Wayne Lawler/Australian Wildlife Conservancy

These mice never left — they just hung out on an island.

Somewhere out there on an island off the coast of Western Australia, generations of adorable mice have lived their lives – unbeknownst to scientists who thought they were extinct more than 150 years ago.

The Gould mouse once lived throughout Australia before disappearing after 1857 as invasive species, new diseases and climate change crept in.

But the intrepid mice remained on a single island in Shark Bay.

Researchers worry that one island isn’t enough to support these small mammals, so some have been taken to other islands to grow their families. May future generations of these mice enjoy their island paradises.

Set your eyes on these intriguing stories:

– Do you like to laugh? There is science behind it – and why a belly laugh is good for you.

– Beating heart cells were sent into space. What happened next could lead to a revolutionary way to help heart patients.

– Meet the the world’s oldest known plague victim. The identity may surprise you.

Like what you have read? But there’s more. Register here to get the next edition of Wonder Theory delivered to your inbox by CNN Space and Science writer Ashley Strickland, who finds wonder in planets beyond our solar system and discoveries of antiquity.

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