Harvard University astronomers and Smithsonian Institution astronomers explore the cosmos together. The combination of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is known as the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA).

News Releases

February 4, 2020

Scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) have completed the Extremely Low Mass--also known as ELM--spectroscopic study of white dwarf stars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). In process for more than a decade, the completed survey discovered 98 detached double white dwarf binaries.

January 13, 2020

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered its first Earth-size planet in its star's habitable zone, the range of distances where conditions may be just right to allow the presence of liquid water on the surface.

Latest Science Update

February 21, 2020

The Gould Belt is an expanding ring of young stars, gas and dust situated about a thousand light-years from the Sun - which is to say, in our solar neighborhood. It stretches over a few thousand light-years and is thought to subsume many famous nearby nebulae like the one in Orion.

SI Specific Information

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