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

April 16, 2019

Scientists in the VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) Collaboration have published a paper in Nature Astronomy journal detailing the results of their work with the VERITAS array—located at the Center for Astrophysics' Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Amado, Arizona—to measure the smallest apparent size of stars in the night sky known to date.

April 10, 2019

The first image of a black hole ever taken is being released today. This monumental achievement was made possible, in part, by key leadership and funding from the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA).

Latest Science Update

April 12, 2019

The closest exoplanet to us, if we include only single stars like the Sun, is the planet around Barnard's Star, Barnard's Star-b ("BSb"). (The planet Promixa Centauri-b is closer, but Proxima Cen is part of a triple-star system with Alpha and Beta Centauri, and understanding the evolutionary development of the planet is more complicated.)

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