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

December 4, 2019

A scientist at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian has announced the discovery that mass in triple star systems takes on the characteristics of recipient stars before mass is actually transferred, which may allow scientists to re-examine previously labeled binary star systems for evidence of a third companion.

November 12, 2019

Scientific data taken by the Parker Solar Probe are set to be released to the public on Nov 12. The data files being released contain measurements that were taken closer to the Sun than ever before. These unprecedented data promise to revolutionize our understanding of how the solar corona and solar wind work.

Latest Science Update

December 6, 2019

Most galaxies are thought to host a supermassive black hole at their nucleus, and dozens have been indirectly measured using techniques ranging from imaging (the most famous recent example using the Event Horizon Telescope) to modeling the motion of matter that orbits them.

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