Hawaii

A view of the Aghileen Pinnacles & Pavlof Volcano from the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

Three Volcanoes Are Erupting Simultaneously in Alaska

Scientists continue to monitor activity in Aleutians, other U.S. sites

A seabird known as the white tern or Manu-o-Kū has surprised birders by taking up residence in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Future of Conservation

Meet the White Tern, a Seabird Surprisingly Thriving in a Big City

The bird—also known as Manu-o-Kū—has excited ornithologists, its population growing within Honolulu, the busiest of Hawai'i's urban landscapes

Hawai'i's location in the subtropical Pacific makes it susceptible to northeast trade winds that bring infrequent rain showers with clear skies in-between that create optimal rainbow viewing conditions.

Hawai'i Is Officially the Best Place on Earth to See Rainbows, According to Science

The geographic location and topography of the islands create beautiful views

'Oumuamua is shaped less like a cigar, as was originally proposed, and more like a pancake, according to recent research.

New Research

New Theory Suggests 'Oumuamua Is a Nitrogen Ice Pancake

When the interstellar visitor swept around the sun, it got a speed boost, probably because some of the ice vaporized

Wisdom, a 70-year-old Laysan albatross, and one of her chicks from years past.

Oldest Known Wild Bird Hatches Chick at Age 70

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross, was first banded by scientists on a remote North Pacific atoll in 1956

By studying recent mass extinctions on islands like Hawaii, Dr. Helen James is painting a picture of bird biodiversity today. Her research involves digging up fossils in caves to study bygone species, like the Kioea.

Smithsonian Voices

Meet One of the Curators Behind the Smithsonian's 640,000 Birds

Helen James' work on avian extinction helps in understanding how bird species today respond to threats like human encroachment and environmental change

On Sunday evening, the crater's walls started to crackle as sizzling lava emerged from fissures and trickled into the water-filled crater below.

Hawai'i's Kīlauea Volcano Returns Dramatically With First Eruption in Two Years

The spewing lava mixed with water at the summit, sending a plume of ash and steam into the sky

The photograph shows an area about 10,000 miles wide, a small portion of the Sun which is 864,000 miles wide

Brilliant Sunspot Photo Captures the Beginning of a New Solar Cycle

The Inouye Solar Telescope captured the unprecedentedly detailed image of a 3,700-mile-wide sunspot on January 28

Over the last 30 years, rainfall on Hawai'i's islands has decreased by 18 percent while the number of residents has doubled since the late 1950s, leading to a high demand for an already scarce resource.

New Research

Newly Discovered Underground Rivers Could Be Potential Solution for Hawai'i's Drought

The reservoirs could provide twice as much fresh water to tap into

Waimea Bay takes its name from the Hawaiian word for "reddish-brown waters."

What the Survival of the Hawaiian Language Means to Those Who Speak It

A Smithsonian curator recalls his own experience learning the native tongue

Nāoli Weller, a nursery school teacher at Nāwahī, leads her class in traditional songs. In the room hang signs that help pupils master the Hawaiian language.

The Inspiring Quest to Revive the Hawaiian Language

A determined couple and their children are sparking the renewal of a long-suppressed part of their ancestors' culture

Queen Liliʻuokalani (above: circa 1891) became the first and only queen regnant of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1891 and shepherded the country through a period of intense growth.

100 Years of Women at the Ballot Box

How the 19th Amendment Complicated the Status and Role of Women in Hawai'i

For generations, women played a central role in government and leadership. Then, the United States came along

The ʻahu ʻula and mahiole of Kalaniʻōpuʻu on display in the Bishop Museum

Hawaiian Chief's Cloak and Helmet Repatriated After 241 Years

A New Zealand museum initially returned the artifacts, given to Captain James Cook in 1779, on a long-term loan in 2016

Our Stories students gather at Maunakea with kūpuna Calvin Hoe (center).

In Hawai'i, Young Storytellers Document the Lives of Their Elders

Through a Smithsonian program, students filmed a climactic moment in the protests over the building of a controversial observatory

Mauna Kea as seen from the Mauna Loa observatory.

New Research

Mauna Kea’s Quakes Might Be Caused by Shifting Gas

The volcano has been rumbling regularly for years, but it’s nothing to worry about

During atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll, military equipment was placed onboard the USS Nevada to help assess the damage doled out by the nuclear blasts. This is one of four tanks that survived a 23-kiloton surface blast and a 20-kiloton underwater blast.

Researchers Locate Wreck of Battleship That Survived Pearl Harbor and Nuclear Bomb Tests

The USS Nevada was scuttled in 1948 after decades of service

The Baldwins' home was reconstructed in 1966 and is now a museum showcasing the missionary's life in the mid-1800s.

Archaeologists Unearth Remnants of Kitchen Behind Oldest House Still Standing in Maui

The missionary who lived in the house during the mid-1800s delivered vaccinations to locals during a smallpox epidemic

A protestor on Maui

Shutting Down Hawai‘i: A Historical Perspective on Epidemics in the Islands

A museum director looks to the past to explain why 'Aloha' is as necessary as ever

Mo‘omomi Preserve on the north coast of the Hawaiian island of Moloka‘i protects a dune ecosystem that boasts rare coastal species.

Hawai‘i's Last Dunes Are Home to Species Found Nowhere Else on the Planet

A nature preserve on Moloka‘i reveals rare life forms—some ancient and others just newly established

Employees are contributing to the initiative by supplying reusable cups, plates and utensils for meetings, as well as bringing used plastic packaging materials from home.

Art Meets Science

A Hawaii Museum Has Eliminated the Sale of All Single-Use Plastics

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu hopes to set a positive example in the fight for a more sustainable future

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