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

October 20, 2020

The monstrous black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy—now of Nobel Prize fame—is proving yet again to be stranger than fiction.

October 12, 2020

Astronomers have captured the last moments of a star just before it was ripped apart by a black hole. The violent occurrence—called a tidal disruption event—created a blast of light seen just 215 million light years from Earth, the closest such flare recorded to date.

Latest Science Update

October 23, 2020

TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, was launched in 2018 with the goal of discovering small planets around the Sun's nearest neighbors, stars bright enough to allow for follow-up characterizations of their planets' masses and atmospheres.

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