From Earth to the Solar System: Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto: Cloudy with particulates and flowing along terraces made of iron oxides, the Rio Tinto in southwestern Spain stretches for over 100 km before reaching the Atlantic. Despite its acidic waters and high concentrations of iron and other heavy metals, the river supports an incredible diversity of extremophile microorganisms, including algae and fungi. Microbial… Continue reading From Earth to the Solar System: Rio Tinto


Apollo 11 Command Module “Columbia,” 1969

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the Earth’s moon. On July 16, 1969, Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins were launched from Cape Kennedy atop a Saturn V rocket. The Apollo 11 Command Module, ‘Columbia,” was the living quarters for the three-person crew during most of… Continue reading Apollo 11 Command Module “Columbia,” 1969

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Blast from the past

In the good old summertime. S. Dillon Ripley, eighth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, riding the carousel in front of the Arts and Industries Building in 1977. Ripley had the carousel installed on the National Mall in 1967. (Photographer unknown)


Saving Haiti’s Culture

“After the disaster, there were many who promised to help.  But, you are the only ones who actually came, and did what you said you would do.” —The National Library of Haiti In late June, Secretary Clough traveled to Haiti with a group of colleagues from the Smithsonian and other agencies to see the progress… Continue reading Saving Haiti’s Culture

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