Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Science Updates


There are 1822 confirmed exoplanets reported so far, and NASA's Kepler satellite has found evidence for more than two thousand others. Many exoplanets are expected to be in systems with multiple planets; indeed, one Kepler system is thought to contain seven or perhaps even more planets.


The Pleiades star cluster, a brilliant collection of several hundred stars visible in the winter sky near the constellation of Orion, has been admired by people for thousands of years; it is cited in the Bible and the works of Greek authors.

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a "research institute" of the Smithsonian Institution. It is joined with the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) to form the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Because these research activities share Harvard and Smithsonian staff and resources, the links at this website will take you to information posted on the "CfA" pages.