Tag archives for Smithsonian Institution
NASA’s decommissioned space shuttle Discovery took a victory lap over Washington, D.C., today on the back of a Boeing 747. The shuttle was traveling to its new home at the National Air and Space Museum in Dulles, Virginia. Discovery flew by several iconic buildings as it passed over the the city, including the Washington Monument and the White House.
Discovery‘s first space voyage was on August 30, 1980. The shuttle flew 39 space missions over the next 30 years. Its last mission was a trip to the International Space Station.
Photograph courtesy Glenn Benson, NASA
Two red panda cubs born this summer at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. just got their names. The two female red panda cubs were born on the stormy evening of June 17, 2011. Their new names reflect the wild weather on the night of their birth. One of the cubs is named Pili, which means “clap of thunder” in Chinese. The other is named Damini, which means “lightning” in Nepalese.
Red pandas are endangered animals that live in the mountains. They are much smaller than giant pandas, growing to about the size of a housecat. They live in Nepal, Myanmar, and China.
Photograph courtesy Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Beginning on April 4, kids will be able to participate in an 8-week online-offline mystery game called VANISHED. The game, developed and curated by MIT’s Education Arcade and the Smithsonian Institution, includes puzzles, real-world museum challenges, and sample collecting. Players will race to solve an environmental disaster mystery by using real scientific techniques. Do you think you have what it takes to play the game and solve the mystery?
The game is open to players across the United States, and registration begins this week. Visit http://vanished.mit.edu if you’d like to join in!
Want to find out if a museum near you is participating? Check out the list of affiliate museums on the Smithsonian Affiliations blog.
Seven lion cubs were born at the National Zoo this summer. Lioness Shera had four cubs, while lioness Nababiep had three. Now all seven cubs have been named!
Shera’s cubs are named John, Fahari, Zuri, and Lelie. Lelie, meaning “lily,” is the winning female name from the Name a Cub contest. The name was submitted by a first-grade classroom at Marshall Elementary School in Manassas, Virginia. Nababiep’s cubs are named Aslan, Lusaka, and Baruti. Baruti is the winning male name from the contest. It means “teacher” and was submitted by a daycare class from the Bright Horizons Child Care & Education at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia.
Visit the National Zoo’s website to learn how the other names were chosen.
Want to help save lions? Visit Letters to Lions to find out how to send a letter to African leaders.
Photograph by Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian National Zoo
In August, seven cubs were born at the National Zoo! The Zoo is giving the public a chance to name two of the cubs, one male and one female. If you want to submit a name, create a 90-second video containing the name you think would be best for one of the cubs and explain why you chose that name.
U.S. residents over the age of 13 should submit their videos by midnight on Sunday, December 5. If you are younger than 13 but you still want to participate, make it a family project and have your parent or guardian submit the video.
Learn more about the cub-naming contest on the National Zoo’s website.
Help save lions! Find out how by visiting Letters to Lions.
This week, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. welcomed four new arrivals–baby lions! This is Shera’s first litter of cubs, and so far the family is doing wonderfully. The cubs won’t be out in the lion yard until late in the fall, according to keepers.
Learn more about the baby lions and watch a video on the National Zoo’s website.
Get the facts on lions in the Creature Feature.
The Big Cats Initiative, led by National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, hope to stop the decline of lion and other big cat populations. Learn more on National Geographic.
Locate lions and watch Crittercam videos in the Crittercam: African Adventure game on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo
The National Zoo’s female red panda Shama gave birth to her first cub on June 16! This is the first red panda born at the Zoo in15 years. Red pandas are an endangered species–there are only about 2,500 red pandas left in the wild. But if you visit the Zoo, you may be able to see Shama and her little one from the upper viewing platform on the Asia Trail.
Learn more about the baby red panda on the National Zoo’s website.
Get the facts on giant pandas on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph courtesy of Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian National Zoo
In March, you helped the National Zoo pick a name for their new giant Pacific octopus. The choices were Olympus, Octavius, Ceph, and Vancouver. And the winner is… Octavius! More than half of the people who voted chose this name. If you live near Washington D.C., you can visit Octavius at the National Zoo’s Inbertebrate Exhibit.
Read more about the ocean animals at the National Zoo on the Smithsonian Institution’s website.
Check out the News Bite on octopus “mobile homes.”
Photograph by Mehgan Murphy
The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. wants you to help name the new giant Pacific octopus. Zoo officials aren’t quite sure whether their octopus is a boy or a girl and won’t know until the octopus is bit more mature. Here are the four names from which to choose: Olympus, Octavius, Ceph, and Vancouver. Polls will remain open until noon Eastern time on April 7.