Technology

The launch of new satellites later this year could make the job of identifying stranded whales from space even more effective.

Satellites Can Spot Beached Whales From Space

Very high resolution satellites give scientists a new way to find out when and where a large-bodied whale, such as a humpback or a sperm, is stranded

An artist’s redendering of MethaneSAT, a satellite that will be launched this year and will be able to find leaks of the greenhouse gas.

A New Generation of Satellites Is Helping Authorities Track Methane Emissions

Efforts to identify leaks of the harmful greenhouse gas are improving with advances in technology

Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia curated by volunteer community editors, found itself at the center of conversations about whether to categorize non-fungible tokens as "art."

Should NFTs Be Classified as Art? Wikipedia's Editors Vote 'No'

Makers of the free encyclopedia spar over the categorization for non-fungible tokens, the relatively new phenomenon sweeping the digital art world

The new technique can distinguish artists based on small samples of their brushwork.

Art Meets Science

New Tech Can Distinguish Brush Strokes of Different Artists

Researchers used 3-D scanning and A.I. to identify artists from tiny samples of their paintings

Ben Franklin by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis, ca 1785

Ben Franklin Lives in Your Smartphone

The 18th-century inventor discovered concepts that impact modern technology

Webb’s 18 mirror segments can lock into the largest telescopic mirror humankind has ever built.

Future of Space Exploration

The Five Big Ways the James Webb Telescope Will Help Astronomers Understand the Universe

The highly awaited observatory is set to break new ground in many areas of astronomical research

On April 25, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was deployed from the cargo bay of Space Shuttle Discovery.

A Look Back at Hubble's Interstellar Success

At the launch of the Webb Space Telescope, the legacy of America’s favorite eye in the sky is best remembered with a look at a Smithsonian artifact

Over the course of our planet’s history, major impacts by comets and asteroids are plentiful.

The Very Real Effort to Track Killer Asteroids and Comets

In "Don't Look Up," researchers warn authorities about a comet hurtling towards Earth. Such a scenario isn’t just science fiction

Canon's new SPAD sensors work by amplifying a single photon that enters the sensor's pixels into large amounts of electrical energy pulses. This allows the camera to see objects in areas with small amounts of light.
 

Canon's New Image Sensor Can See in Almost-Total Darkness

The tech can capture images in only one-tenth of the brightness required by other devices

Purdue University's INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering tests toys for how well they develop STEM skills in kids.

Gift Guides

Engineers Pick the Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts This Year

These expert-approved gifts teach robotics, coding and engineering thinking through stories and play

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What the History of 'Spirit Photography' Portends for the Future of Deepfake Videos

Today’s video hoaxes can be downright ugly. But image-makers have been fooling viewers from the beginning

The Van Gogh bike path in Eindhoven is inspired by the artist’s painting The Starry Night. Similar glow-in-the-dark paths and roads could eventually save energy for lighting while cooling cities.

Will Glow-in-the-Dark Materials Someday Light Our Cities?

Substances that persistently luminesce could be used in streets, sidewalks and buildings

Heavy rainfall in China this summer led to severe flooding—something more cities are dealing with as the warming climate affects the intensity and frequency of precipitation.

This New Tool Lets You See Floods From Around the World, Dating Back to 1985

An innovative interactive map could aid future disaster planning, especially for vulnerable countries in the developing world

Artist's rendering of "Futures," an upcoming exhibition at the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building

Futures

Futures

The Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building re-opens on November 20 with a thought-provoking exploration of what lies ahead for humanity

On October 24, 1944, the Battle of Leyte Gulf had just begun when two Hellcat pilots U.S. Navy Capt. David McCampbell and his wingman Ens. Roy Rushing spotted a squadron of 60 Japanese aircraft, including bombers escorted by Zeroes (above: a 1943 photograph of Grumman F6F Hellcats in flight).

In One Mission in October 1944, Two F6F Hellcats Shot Down a Record 15 Enemy Aircraft

U.S. Navy Pilots David McCampbell and Roy Rushing made history in a heroic air battle over the Leyte Gulf

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University analyzed popular vaping products and found nearly 2,000 chemicals not disclosed by manufacturers, as well as six potentially harmful compounds, including a pesticide.

New Research

Nearly 2,000 Chemicals—Some Potentially Harmful—Found in Vaping Aerosols

Researchers discover industrial chemicals, a pesticide and caffeine during analysis of popular vaping products

An artist's concept of NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER.

Five Things to Know About NASA's Lunar Rover 'VIPER'

The device will hunt for resources, including water, vital to future space exploration

An X-ray fluorescence scanner analyzes correspondence of Marie Antoinette and Fersen at France’s National Archives.

X-Ray Technology Reveals Marie Antoinette's Censored Secret Correspondence

A combination of the chemical analysis and advanced data processing used could reveal many more lost writings or drawings

Godfrey Hounsfield stands beside the EMI-Scanner in 1972.

Fifty Years Ago, the First CT Scan Let Doctors See Inside a Living Skull

The invention came from an eccentric British engineer who worked at a company now better known for selling Beatles albums

The National Weather Service Began as a Crowdsourcing Experiment

Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry used an army of volunteers in what would eventually become the nation's weather forecasting operation

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