Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Science Updates

11/28/2014

Most galaxies lie in clusters, groupings of a few to many thousands of galaxies. Our Milky Way galaxy itself is a member of the "Local Group," a band of about fifty galaxies whose other large member is the Andromeda Galaxy about 2.3 million light-years away.

11/21/2014

Astronomical observations of young protostars indicate that early planetary systems evolved from the dust in a protoplanetary disk very quickly - in under five million years.

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.