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Diamonds are a planet’s best friend? In the early universe, perhaps

Could the universe’s earliest stars have formed planets, and if so, what might they have looked like?

Reflections on a changing Washington, D.C.

Peter Sefton, D.C. Preservation League trustee, reflects on how Washington, D.C. has changed in recent years.

Study: Managed beehives can discourage crop-raiding elephants

This camera-trap image shows a forest elephant passing a beehive protecting a wild fruit tree in Gabon.

Apollo 11 Command Module in 3D!

A 3-D rendering of the Apollo 11 Command Module with a view inside the hatch. The seats inside are where astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins sat during the historic moon landing mission on July 20, 1969.

See the U.S.A. on Paik’s “Electronic Superhighway”

Smithsonian American Art Museum; gift of the artist Nam June Paik Estate Nam June Paik is a pivotal figure in the history of modern art.

The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today

“The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today” is on view at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery from March 12, 2016 – January 8, 2017.

Up, Up and Away

Sophie Blanchard performing at the restoration of the monarchy in 1814, with King Louis XVIII. Image from the Scrapbook of early aeronautica.

Beautiful plastic sculptures tell ugly story of human garbage in the ocean

All “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” images courtesy National Zoological Park Great white sharks, killer whales, sea lions, even polar bears—the ocean is full of giant predators.

Castle corbel carved by Basque Country stone carver Bernat Vidal during 2016 Folklife Festival

Master stone carver Bernat Vidal chisels a piece of Seneca sandstone during the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.

Monitoring seafood catch data

Knowing what we take from our oceans matters. Smithsonian scientists are developing tools to better understand and protect our oceans.

Discovery in Smithsonian collection brings new understanding of rare North American leech

European Medicinal Leech “Hirudo medicinalis.” Sucker is on the right, blood-feeding mouth is on the left.

Basque Country & Cheese

Food is an important element of Basque life. In the Ostatua Kitchen tent at the Smithsonian’s 2016 Folklife Festival, chefs from two Basque culinary schools (Escuela Superior de Hostelería de Artxanda and Escuela Superior de Hostelería de Gamarra) will showcase regional cooking and drinks with cooking demonstrations and workshops.

Basque culture, California music featured at 2016 Folklife Festival

Traditional Basque dancers at the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Air and Space Museum’s “Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall” Reopens July 1!

The National Air and Space Museum will reopen the “Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall” July 1 in conjunction with the museum’s 40th anniversary.

Smithsonian celebrates Panama Canal expansion

Smithsonian staff scientist, Carlos Jaramillo (shown here), and Bruce McFadden from the Florida Museum of Natural History led a 5 year project to collect fossils from and understand the geology of the Panama Canal expansion earthworks.

New facets of Martin Puryear’s inspiration explored in ‘Multiple Dimensions’

Martin Puryear, “Drawing for Untitled,” 2009, about 2009, compressed charcoal on paper, Courtesy of the artist.

The Sultan of Swing

“Babe Ruth and Other Red Sox Pitchers” by Underwood & Underwood (gelatin paper print, 1915; Smithsonian’ National Portrait Gallery) The photographic record alone is astonishing: Babe Ruth was arguably the most portrayed American from the beginning of his professional career in the major leagues, in 1914, to his death in 1948.

Nigerian marketplace leaps to life in African Art sound installation

Market Symphony by Emeka Ogboh Bells ring, but it’s not your grandmother calling you to dinner from the backyard.

Smithsonian Study reveals Decline of Genetic Diversity in Wild Cheetahs

The planet’s last stronghold of wild cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) is losing genetic diversity at an alarming rate according to a new study from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and partners published June 21 in the journal Biological Conservation.

Star Stories: The Girl and Her Seven Brothers

This animation tells an Arikara story of the creation of a sacred landmark on the plains, the Bear’ Lodge (Devils Tower), as well as the formation of the Pleiades star cluster.