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This artist’s conception shows the silhouette of a rocky planet, dubbed HD 219134b, as it passes in front of its star.

Old bombs, chemical weapons now home for deep-sea starfish

A brisingid starfish living on submerged munitions. Close examination of round galls found on a number of the starfish, as seen here, were determined to be caused by parasites and not by the residue of chemical weapons.

Jamestown skeletons identified as colony leaders

A team of scientists used multiple lines of evidence, including archaeology, skeletal analyses, chemical testing, 3-D technology and genealogical research, to single out the names of the four men who died at Jamestown from 1608 through 1617.

Trapped in Amber: Ancient fossils reveal remarkable stability of Caribbean lizard communities

Some of the fossils in this study are exceptionally well-preserved, such as the specimen shown here. With micro-CT scanning, the skeleton can be reconstructed in 3D, revealing complete skeletons, fully articulated skulls and fragments.

Digitized, Searchable Archives Help Revive ‘Sleeping’ Languages

Myaamia tribe member Dahra Sirois works on a language and craft project during the Eewansaapita summer camp in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Kickstarter funding: Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 suit

This spacesuit was worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong, Commander of the Apollo 11 mission, which landed the first man on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Study reveals more Pygmy Sloths, But There Still Aren’t Many

While the pygmy sloth is still considered critically endangered, Smithsonian research shows that there could be many more than once thought.

Cobia Island bioblitz

A team of 30 taxonomists, many from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and renowned photographer Christian Ziegler, conduct a week-long bioblitz on Cobia Island in Panama.

A Precocious Black Hole

In this illustration a black hole emits part of the accreted matter in the form of energetic radiation (blue), without slowing down star formation within the host galaxy (purple regions).

Scanning “Greek Slave”

Vince Rossi and Jon Blundell from the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office ( apply various 3D capture methods on the pointed plaster model for the “Greek Slave” by Hiram Powers, the most famous sculpture of the 19th century, in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Artificial Inventions that have changed thousands of lives

In the last century, science has led to developments in medical diagnosis, treatment and inventions that have changed the lives of thousands of people with disabilities.

A new true bug: “Wheelerodemus muhlenbergiae”

“Wheelerodemus muhlenbergiae,” adult male. (Illustration by Tina Litwak, Systematic Entomology Laboratory, USDA, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian) Who: Wheelerodemus muhlenbergiae What: A newly discovered species of plant eating bug belonging to the family Blissidae, members of which are found worldwide.

Smithsonian and Partners To Preserve Earth’s Genomic Plant Diversity

Once captured, genomic samples will be stored in the Smithsonian’s biorepository, a complex of sub-zero freezers which can hold up to 4 million cryo-preserved samples in perpetuity, located at the Museum Support Center in Suitland, Md.

Sol Man: John Grant is on a road trip across Mars

Two rovers are active right now on the surface of Mars: Opportunity, which landed in January 2004, and Curiosity, which started exploration in August 2012.

Cats Don’t Roam in places Coyotes call Home

A coyote investigates a camera trap set up in a wooded area. A two-year study looking at occurrences of cats and coyotes in protected areas, urban forests and suburban habitats showed that where coyotes are common, cats are not.

Protecting Birds by Better Understanding Migratory connectivity

  Identifying and understanding the migratory connectivity of birds throughout an entire annual cycle (not just the times of year they are in your back yard), are critical to understanding their biology and ecology.

Key Link in Turtle Evolution discovered

Pappochelys could grow up to 8 inches in length, had a long tail and used its tiny, peg-like teeth to feed on small insects and worms in what is now southern Germany.

To Preserve Rare WWII bomber, Conservators Turn to Science

With Flak-Bait front fuselage, conservation team members from left, Jeremy Kinney, Lauren Horelick, Pat Robinson and Chris Moore.

Red Panda Cubs Born at Conservation Biology Institute

Seven red panda cubs were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute! The cubs were born to mothers Nutmeg, Regan and Leo Mei.

Oasis in the city

The Smithsonian Pollinator Garden on the grounds of the National Museum of Natural History. (Smithsonain Gardens photo) Pollinators like butterflies, bees, beetles, flies, and moths help to pollinate almost 80 percent of the world’s flowering plants, one benefit of which is providing food for humans.