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Mercury Joins Earth As Tectonically Active Planet

Small graben, narrow linear troughs, have been found associated with small scarps (lower white arrows) on Mercury, and on the Moon.

National Museum of African History and Culture Opens

Today, Saturday Sept, 24, 2016 in the morning, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art and Culture officially opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

PBS Newshour interview with Lonnie Bunch, African American Museum director

Gwen Ifill sat down with Lonnie Bunch, the director of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, which is due to open this weekend.

Building a grand photography collection for the new African American museum

Photograph of the Stevens Family outside their home in Linn Creek, Missouri, ca. 1905 by an unidentified photographer.

Historic Freedom Bell to ring in African American History Museum opening

The restored First Baptist Church Freedom Bell. (Credit: Colonial Williamsburg) It rang this year for the first time since segregation, for a congregation that formed as our nation was founded.

African American History and Culture Museum Opens this Weekend

National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opens Saturday, Sept.

Bats Use Second Sense to Hunt Prey in Noisy Environments

Fringe-lipped bat close-up (Alexander T. Baugh) Like many predators, the fringe-lipped bat primarily uses its hearing to find its prey, but with human-generated noise on the rise, scientists are examining how bats and other animals might adapt to find their next meal.

Truly seeing red at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Jan Stuart in the exhibit “Red: Ming Dynasty/Mark Rothko” (Image by Freer|Sackler staff.) Luminous. Luscious.

Gorillas Aren’t Tricked By a Faux Sugary Fruit Thanks to a Mutation

“Adult male western lowland gorilla named ‘Makumba’ studied in the Primate Habituation Programme of WWF, eats ripe indoya fruit (“Trichoscypha acuminata”) in the Dzanga Sangha Protected Areas of Central African Republic.” (Photo by Christopher Whittier) During the course of a year, a western gorilla in the Lossi Forest of Northern Congo stuffs its face with a profusion of fruit, including figs, mulberries, and the sour-sweet monkey fruit.

Orangutan Born at Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Batang and her infant in the Great Ape House at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. (Photo by Alex Reddy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo) For the first time in 25 years, primate staff at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are celebrating the birth of a male Bornean orangutan.

President Obama to Deliver Remarks at Dedication of National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the opening ceremony of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Saturday, Sept.

Unprecedented Access to the Cooper Hewitt’s Collection

More than 200,000 objects are now accessible online via, following an 18-month mass digitization effort, in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office.

Asteroid Mission carries Student X-ray Experiment

A photograph of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft prior to installation of thermal blankets. The REXIS instrument is labelled.

Sit! Stay! Spell!

“Alphabet” border, designed by William Wegman, distributed by A/D Gallery, New York, 1993. Gift of A/D Gallery.

On Hirshhorn plaza, demolished ’92 Dodge keeps pulling ‘em in

Visitors to the Hirshhorn plaza encounter “Still Life with Spirit and Xitle.” (Photo by John Barrat) Although it has no magnetic properties, the 9-ton red volcanic boulder on the plaza of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden keeps pulling people in from the nearby sidewalk on Independence Avenue.

Three New books mark museum opening

To commemorate the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture three new books have been released by Smithsonian Books:  Dream a World Anew: The African American Experience and the Shaping of America; Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture; and National Museum of African American History and Culture: A Souvenir Book.

Some ants still trying to get crop domestication right

Skinny lines of ants snake through the rainforest carrying leaves and flowers above their heads—fertilizer for industrial-scale, underground fungus farms.

Human health risks of eating sea turtle eggs could benefit species

Green sea turtle, Tortuga, Hati (Flickr photo by Philippe Guillaume) According to a new study, eating sea turtle eggs increases the health risk of heavy metal exposure in local communities in Panama and may provide a new strategy for conservation.

Mystery solved? Ants Protect Young From Infection By Cocooning Them in Fungus

In 2012, scientists observed that of 20 species of fungus-growing ant, including leaf-cutting ants (above), a majority cover juveniles—eggs , larvae and pupae—in mycelia from the fungus they grow.

Animated Music Video: “Ich A Mazeldicker Yid” by The Brothers Nazaroff

On October 23, 2015, Smithsonian Folkways releases The Brothers Nazaroff: The Happy Prince, a boisterous, high-energy tribute to cult Yiddish troubadour Nathan “Prince” Nazaroff, who recorded the mysterious Folkways 10-inch record Jewish Freilach Songs in 1954.