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Dino-Bird Transition

Developmental Timing Offers Another Window Into Dinosaur-Bird Transition

Research posts

A new study has used skull anatomy to show that the evolution of birds from dinosaurs may have resulted from a drastic change in dinosaur development.

In a study published this week in the journal Nature, researchers from Harvard University, the Museum, the New York Institute of Technology, The University of Texas at Austin, and the Autonomous University of Madrid report evidence that while many dinosaurs took years to reach sexual maturity, birds sped up the developmental clock, which led them to retain the physical characteristics of baby dinosaurs.

Tags: Dinosaurs

Manhattanhenge

Four Things to Know About Manhattanhenge

News posts

Four nights a year, the streets of Manhattan’s grid become the site for a spectacular sunset phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about this event.

What is Manhattanhenge?

As Director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson, who discovered the phenomenon and coined the term “Manhattanhenge,” explains in his Hayden Planetarium blog, Manhattanhenge takes place “when the setting Sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan’s brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough’s grid. A rare and beautiful sight.”

Tags: Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Venus transit_1

Countdown to the Transit of Venus on June 5

Research posts

Astrophysicist Jackie Faherty is blogging about the upcoming transit of Venus, which will take place next week. In her first post, she explains what the transit is, when it occurs, where she will be observing it—and where New Yorkers can catch a glimpse of the phenomenon.

A rare astronomical event is upon us: our sister planet Venus is about to transit our Sun. Depending on your geographic location, this means that the distant planet will glide across the face of the Sun appearing as a small black dot for several hours. Just like the Moon will sometimes pass between the Earth and the Sun, causing a solar eclipse, so do the innermost planets Venus and Mercury. However, since Venus and Mercury are many times more distant to us than the Moon, and since their orbits are not perfectly aligned with that of the Earth, transits of the inner planets are far more rare than solar eclipses and the shadows they cast are smaller. But the event is no less dramatic and unfolds over several hours rather than mere minutes.

Tags: Hayden Planetarium

Potatoes_©J.-Miller-250

Protecting Potato Diversity in Peru

News posts

Over the next two weeks, a team from Science Bulletins, the Museum’s multimedia online and exhibition program, will visit Peru to film a short documentary about protecting potato biodiversity in the region. Producer Tania Van Bergen, who is traveling to Lima and to the Huancavelica region, will be sending photos and dispatches from her trip in the coming weeks.

Tags: Science Bulletins

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