Smithsonite, or zinc spar, is a carbon zinc ore.This mineral was named in 1832 after English chemist and mineralogist James Smithson (founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution).

We Are Missing At Least 145 Carbon-Bearing Minerals, and You Can Help Find Them

The Carbon Mineral Challenge is asking rock enthusiasts around the world to hunt for the undiscovered forms of this common element

Though the new method can't produce these large sparklers yet, it may be an important part of future diamond production.

Weird New Type of Carbon Is Harder (and Brighter) Than Diamond

Dubbed Q-carbon, the material is magnetic, emits a soft glow and can be used to grow diamonds faster and cheaper than ever before

This composite image features Pluto and its largest moon Charon in enhanced color.

Sorry Pluto, You Still Aren’t a Planet

A new test for planetary status leaves the diminutive world and its dwarf planet kin out of the family portrait

Inspired by the ancient art of paper folding researchers hoped to make a device that could both fold itself and move on its own.

Watch This Piece of Paper Fold Itself Up and Walk Away

Scientists created a piece of graphene-based paper that can fold itself into a box, pick up objects and even inch around corners

The rapidly moving Mount Baldy dune has consumed everything in its sandy wake, including fungus-ridden black oak trees that are thought to be the source of the mysterious tunnels.

New Insights Behind the Sand Dunes That Swallowed a Boy

Scientists have confirmed that fungus-ridden trees are to blame

2015 Grand Prize Winner Atlantic Puffin with Wild Iris, by Megan Lorenz, Elliston, Newfoundland, Canada. "Perched precariously on the edge of a cliff trying desperately to overcome my fear of heights,' says Megan Lorenz, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, "I watched this Atlantic Puffin pull a Wild Iris from the ground and walk along the cliff toward me. He stopped for a moment and I had enough time to capture him with the blue sky in the background before he dropped the Iris over the side where his mate was waiting at the burrow entrance."

A Taste of "The Best of the Best" Nature Photography

Take a trip around the world with these breathtaking images of nature

Giant pumpkins wait in line for their weigh-in at a 2014 competition in Kasterlee, Belgium.

The Secret to Growing the World's Largest Pumpkin

From special seeds to helpful fungi, creating a monster takes more than just sunlight and soil

Tabulae Anatomicae Clarissimi Viri..., Bartolomeo Eustachi, 1722

The Grisly Details of Early Anatomy Textbooks

These images detail the inner workings of human bodies in all their gruesome glory

An artist’s rendering shows a white dwarf star shredding a rocky asteroid.

Dead Star Shredding a Rocky Body Offers a Preview of Earth's Fate

The stellar corpse spotted by a NASA telescope backs up a theory that white dwarf stars eat planetary remnants

A color composite image highlighting pluto's brilliant diversity of color and texture. The western lobe of the heart—an area rich with nitrogen, carbon monoxide and methane ice—is brightly displayed in the right of the image.

First Official Data From the Pluto Flyby Reshapes the Dwarf Planet’s History

“The ‘little spacecraft that could’ is making a lot of big discoveries,” says Alan Stern

A Bronze Age mummified skeleton lies tightly curled in Bradley Fen in Cambridgeshire, England.

Mummies May Have Been Scattered Across Bronze Age Britain

Skeletal analysis hints that, intentional or not, mummification may have been more common than previously thought

Divers examine ceramic artifacts that may hold clues about ancient medicines, perfumes and food.

Antikythera Shipwreck Yields New Cache of Ancient Treasures

Scientists have recovered more than 50 artifacts from the site, including a bronze armrest that was possibly part of a throne

People around the world gathered to photograph and ogle the bright red glow of last night’s supermoon lunar eclipse.

The Photos of the Rare Supermoon/Lunar Eclipse Convergence Do Not Disappoint

Take in the majesty of the unusual astrophysical event with these photos captured around the world

Can You Guess the Invention Based on These Patent Illustrations?

Hint: They are all part of the National Museum of American History’s collection

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