DC Science Exhibits

New and temporary science exhibits open to the public.

National Geographic Museum

Mars Up Close
Open August 5, 2014 - November 30, 2014

Experience the excitement, science, challenge and eye-opening wonder of one of the most ambitious space expeditions ever undertaken in this stunning exhibition. Featuring the latest images taken by the Curiosity rover, many with surprising colors and landscapes, Mars Up Close transports you to the red planet. Explore full-scale models of the family of rovers that have gone to Mars, Curiosity, as well as Spirit/Opportunity and the 1997 Sojourner, and learn about the ongoing scientific experiments and continuing plans to seek signs of life and to execute humankind’s remarkable journey to Mars.  Learn more at http://events.nationalgeographic.com/events/exhibits/2014/08/05/mars/. 

Spinosuarus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous
Open September 12, 2014 - April 12, 2015

At over 50 feet long, 20 feet high and weighing in at 6 tons, Spinosaurus is the largest predatory dinosaur to ever roam the Earth — even bigger than T. rex. This bus-sized dino’s extraordinary features include a crocodile-shaped skull and 7-foot spines forming a sail along its back. Spinosaurus is unlike any other dinosaur you’ve seen or heard of before. Encounter this bizarre predator for the first time at the world premiere of “Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous.” In this exhibition, you can explore a full-sized skeletal model as well as genuine dinosaur fossils and learn about the latest technologies modern paleontologists use. Travel with National Geographic explorers and scientists to the remote edges of the Sahara to discover the origins of this rare African dinosaur and the mysterious journey that led to its rediscovery.  Learn more at http://events.nationalgeographic.com/events/exhibits/2014/09/12/spinosaurus-lost-giant-cretaceous/

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Spirit & Opportunity: 10 Years Roving Across Mars
Open through September 14, 2014

This exhibition celebrates the amazing images and achievements of the two Mars Exploration Rovers on the 10th anniversary of their landings on the Red Planet. Each rover was initially expected to travel up to 1 kilometer (2/3 mile) during a primary mission of 90 Martian days, but both far exceeded these expectations. One of the mission’s main scientific goals was to search for and study a wide range of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity on Mars. To do this, the rovers landed on opposite sides of Mars in locations that appear to have been affected by liquid water in the past. Learn more at http://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/mer/

Hawaii by Air
Opens July 25, 2014

You may not realize it but Hawaii is one of the most remote places on Earth. Flying there in the early days of flight was not for the faint of heart. Bad weather, a navigational error, or an engine failure could spell doom.  Hawaii by Air recounts how things have changed since then. How air travel to Hawaii developed and grew. How the travel experience evolved along with the airplane. And how air travel changed Hawaii itself.  Learn more at http://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/hawaii-by-air/

Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America
Open through June, 2015

One hundred years ago, Martha the Passenger Pigeon died. It was the last member of a species that once filled American Skies by the billions. These exhibit cases commemorate that anniversary by exploring birds such as the Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, Labrador Duck, Great Auk and Heath Hen that once roamed North American but were driven to extinction. Martha the Passenger Pigeon will be mounted on public view for the first time since 1999.
Learn more at http://library.si.edu/digital-library/exhibition/once-there-were-billions.

The Rex Room
Through October 20, 2014

Thanks to a 50-year loan from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a spectacular real T. rex specimen will arrive at the Museum on April 15, 2014. This T. rex will be one of the stars of our new National Fossil Hall which opens in 2019. Before it can go in the new exhibit, the Nation’s T. rex needs special care over the next five years. Come visit the Rex Room to see us studying, conserving, photographing, and 3D scanning its bones – and dozens of other fossils being prepared for the new exhibition. Visitors can look inside to see what our team is working on today!   Learn more at http://www.mnh.si.edu/exhibits/.

GENOME: Unlocking Life's Code
Through September 1, 2014

Inside every living thing on Earth—including you—is the complete set of instructions needed for an organism to grow and function.  The instructions are written in the twisting, ladder-shaped molecule known as DNA packed into the nucleus of almost all your cells. Scientists have identified thousands of genes that contribute to disease and begun to unlock the secrets of cancer, opening the way to more personalized healthcare. They’ve traced our ancestors’ migrations across the world and begun to sequence and compare all the species on our planet.  Learn more at http://www.mnh.si.edu/exhibits/genome/.