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Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe
  • What are the dark matter and dark energy that make up most of the universe?
  • How did the stars and rocky planets like our Earth form and evolve?

Throughout history, people have observed the universe, seeking to understand its beginnings and how the galaxies, stars, and planets originated. At the Smithsonian, astrophysicists and other scientists continue to lead the quest to unlock the fundamental secrets of the cosmos. They explore our own solar system, meteorites, the Earth's geological past and present, and the paleontological record of our planet, showcasing the results of their explorations and connecting them to humankind's artistic and cultural endeavors.

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.