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Exploring Mars

National Air and Space Museum
Landing site on the surface of Mars with ship and astronauts

Exploring Space

National Museum of American History

Exploring the Planets

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teaching poster featuring classroom and gallery activities about spacecraft and tools for studying our solar system.

Exploring Endangered Languages

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
I’m approaching the day when I must leave school and make my way in the world; as a graduate student,Read More

Exploring DC Water

Smithsonian Gardens
Smithsonian Gardens’ Green Team had a unique opportunity to visit the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (AWTP) owned and operated by Washington, D.C.’s Water and Sewer Authority or DC Water.  Serving the District and nearby suburbs, the plant takes in more than 330 million gallons of raw sewage daily. We had the pleasure of […]

Exploring Alien Atmospheres

National Air and Space Museum
Twenty years ago we confirmed that planets exist outside of our Solar System. Since that time we have discovered thousands of these exoplanets. The next big question to tackle: Do any of these planets harbor life. Tom Barclay and Hannah Wakeford will talk about what we have learned so far in our exploration of exoplanets and how we will peer into the atmospheres of these faraway worlds to look for biomarkers, signs of alien life. This program is made possible through the generous support of Boeing.

Exploring Mount Vernon

Smithsonian Magazine

Mount Vernon was the beloved home of George and Martha Washington from the time of their marriage in 1759 until General Washington's death in 1799. He worked tirelessly to expand his plantation from 2,000 acres to 8,000 and the mansion house from six rooms to twenty-one.

The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association purchased Mount Vernon from the Washington family in 1858 and opened the estate to the public in 1860. Since that time, nearly 80 million visitors have toured Washington's home. Mount Vernon is independent of the government and no tax dollars are expended to support the 500-acre estate, its educational programs or activities.

Visitors are invited to tour the Mansion house and more than a dozen outbuildings including the slave quarters, kitchen, stables and greenhouse. Stroll four different gardens, hike the Forest Trail and explore the George Washington: Pioneer Farmer site, a four-acre working farm that includes a recreation of Washington's 16-sided treading barn. The George Washington Museum and the Archaeology & Restoration Museum are open daily, in addition to a variety of seasonal walking tours and special activities. George and Martha Washington rest in peace in the tomb where wreath-laying ceremonies are held daily.

Image by Klaas Lingbeek-van Kranen, iStockphoto. When George Washington lived here, Mount Vernon was an 8,000-acre plantation divided into five farms. Each farm was a complete unit, with its own overseers, work force of slaves, livestock, equipment, and buildings. (original image)

Image by Mount Vernon Ladies' Association. Edward Savage painted this portrait of Mount Vernon in 1792. (original image)

Especially for the Holidays:

Mount Vernon by Candlelight

November 24 (sold out), 25 (sold out) & 26

December 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 & 10

5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Martha Washington hosts an 18th-century Christmas with candlelit walks, fireside caroling and festive decor. Visitors learn about the Washingtons' Christmas traditions; tour the candlelit Mansion including the rarely-seen third floor; and meet historical characters.

Holidays at Mount Vernon

December 1 - January 6

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The third floor of the Mansion is open only during the Holidays at Mount Vernon. See the beautifully refurbished garret bedchamber occupied by Martha Washington after her husband's death. You'll also see the Mansion decorated for holiday festivities and will hear stories of how the Washingtons celebrated Christmas.

Exploring Ancient Ephesus

Smithsonian Magazine

Over the centuries, a succession of empires—Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and, finally, Ottoman—ruled over the city of Ephesus. Yet no matter how many times it changed hands, the city remained one of the most vibrant metropolises of the ancient world. Located on Turkey's western coast, nearly 300,000 people lived there at its height, in the second century A.D. Its busy seaport ferried goods from Asia to Greece, Italy and beyond.

Ephesus' greatest claim to fame was its temple to the goddess Artemis. One of the "seven wonders" of the ancient world, it was almost four times larger than the Parthenon in Athens. According to the New Testament, the Apostle Paul preached in Ephesus, prompting a riot led by silversmiths who crafted shrines to the goddess and feared for both their livelihoods and the future of the temple.

Today, a few columns are all that remain of the temple. But there is still much to see that evokes the city's former splendor. A three-tiered theater, built into the slope of a hill, once seated 25,000. Just outside the city stands the Church of Saint John, built in the fourth century over the evangelist's presumed tomb and expanded into a basilica some 200 years later.

Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who has visited Ephesus more than a dozen times, says the city "is almost like a snapshot in time. You get the sense of what walking down the street of a Roman city was like without having to use your own imagination."

Editor's note, May 7, 2010: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect photograph for Ephesus. The page has been updated

Exploring Curtain Papers

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Image features a striped curtain paper with tie backs. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.I recently had the opportunity to look at the museum’s collection of curtain papers, a lesser known group in the Wallcoverings department. A visiting paper conservator from the UK’s National Trust was researching curtain papers and while in New York on a courier trip stopped by to see Cooper Hewitt’s examples. Not much is known...

Exploring the Planets

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Online exhibition highlighting the history and achievements of planetary explorations, both Earth-based and by spacecraft. Includes links to further information on the subject.

Exploring Weather and Climate - 2006 Exploring Space Lecture

National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum 2006 Exploring Space Lecture: "Exploring Weather and Climate: A History of 'Cutting Edges' and 'Killer Apps'". Presented by guest speaker Dr. James Fleming, 2006 National Air and Space Museum Lindbergh Fellow and Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Colby College, is a historian of science and technology focusing on weather- and climate-related issues. Lecture took place Tuesday, June 06, 2006 from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Lockheed Martin Imax Theater of the Museum's National Mall Building in downtown Washington, DC. The 2006 Exploring Space Lecture Series theme was "This Island Earth" and featured four world-class scholars discussing the dramatic changes the Earth is undergoing and their work to try and explain such changes and the damage that may result, relying on the data gathered from space to better understand our small, fragile planet. The 2006 Exploring Space Lectures were made possible by the generous support of NASA and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. For more about the annual Exploring Space Lecture Series, see

Exploring the American Experience

Smithsonian Magazine

Urban Exploration

Southern Coast

Exploring a Decorative Bandbox

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
1968-71-1-abBandboxes, a decorative yet practical item of an earlier time, were originally used as receptacles for holding men’s neckbands in the early 17th century. Although they continued to hold that purpose heading into the 19th century, women would soon adapt them to carry their personal items and accessories. Between the years 1820 and 1845, the...

Exploring A.I.: Data Portraits

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
image of four people on a stage at cooper hewitt. from the left: Ellen Lupton, Luke Dubois, Jessica Helfand, and Zack Lieberman. They each hold mics and Jessica is speakingWhat does it feel like to have your face registered as a data point? To be seen or evaluated by a computer? While artificial intelligence has become a pervasive technology in our daily lives, it often goes unnoticed. Artists and designers Luke Dubois, Zach Lieberman, and Jessica Helfand discuss their work within the larger context...

Exploring the Sky Homepage

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Parent's guide designed to teach children about astrology. Focused on the children's book, Maria' Comet, about a young girl who longs to study the stars, this module links to hands-on activities and a list of recommended readings for further exploration.

Exploring the Gettysburg Address

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher's guide included in the online exhibit, The Gettysburg Address. Includes tips on how to use the interactive document tool, suggested discussion questions, and recommended resources.

Exploring Peru at the Smithsonian

National Museum of Natural History
One of the many cabinets we opened that day at the Museum Support Center (MSC). This one consisted of solely Peruvian pottery. In celebration of the 2015 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, we looked deep into our anthropology collections for some amazing Peruvian objects to highlight. Here are some of our coolest...

Exploring historical connections in China

National Museum of American History

Exploring Local Biodiversity Wrap Up

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
The past two weeks have been very busy on our education dock! Thursday, March 29 concluded a group of schools visiting SERC as part of an exciting collaborative education initiative between SERC, the National Zoological Park, Friends of the National … Continue reading

Exploring The Large Magellanic Cloud

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
The Large Magellanic Cloud, known as the LMC, is a nearby satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way. At a distance of around 160,000 light-years, the LMC is the third closest galaxy to us. But the LMC is more than just a nice little sidekick.

Exploring Brazil Beyond the Stadiums

Smithsonian Magazine

The map above, created by our partners at Esri, offers a fresh look at Brazil, with satellite photos of the stadiums of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and a selection of just a few of the places beyond the stadiums that make each region special. These sites include museums, memorials, beaches and other destinations worth traveling to. Scroll through the map to discover each of the 12 cities where the 64 matches are being played.

Wilkes / United States Exploring Expedition

National Museum of American History

Exploring the Amazon Rain Forest

Smithsonian Magazine

The Amazon rain forest covers more than two million square miles of the earth's surface, spanning eight South American countries. Although the region has no seasons, the Amazon River rises and falls by as much as 30 feet during the year, and the variety of living things one can see changes with it. Every journey reveals new wonders.

More than a third of the world's species—mostly plants and insects—make their home in the rain forest. But with the help of an experienced guide, you can also glimpse a rainbow of exotic creatures that includes toucans, red deer and pink dolphins. The astonishment and beauty of the Amazon lie "in the intricacy of this fabulously complex ecosystem," says Roger Harris, co-author of The Amazon: The Bradt Travel Guide.

Most travelers visit the western areas of the rain forest that remain largely untouched, such as the Loreto region of Peru, so they may not notice that the ecosystem is under siege. Already 20 percent of the forest has been cut down for timber or burned to make way for farms, with thousands more acres disappearing each day. "I've seen areas along the river where it's been beautiful, pristine forest one year, and the next it's been clearcut," says Harris. "That's pretty hard to take."

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