The CfA is a collaboration of Harvard College Observatory (HCO) and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and home to Harvard's Department of Astronomy.
The scale of the universe can be difficult to comprehend. Pretend you are going to make a scale model with a basketball representing the Earth and a tennis ball as the Moon.
When a star explodes as a supernova, it shines brightly for a few weeks or months before fading away. Yet the material blasted outward from the explosion still glows hundreds or thousands of years later, forming a picturesque supernova remnant.
Gamma ray bursts (GRBs) are the brightest events in the known universe. These flashes of high-energy light occur about once a day, randomly, from around the sky.
SI-specific information regarding the government shutdown may be found at alerts.si.edu. SAO staff are encouraged to review the website for updated information
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