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 15, 2021

It forever changed history when it crashed into Earth about 66 million years ago. The Chicxulub impactor, as it's known, left behind a crater off the coast of Mexico that spans 93 miles and runs 12 miles deep.

January 28, 2021

They may be the youngest astronomers to make a discovery yet. This week, 16-year-old Kartik Pinglé and 18-year-old Jasmine Wright have co-authored a peer-reviewed paper in The Astronomical Journal describing the discovery of four new exoplanets about 200-light-years away from Earth.

Latest Science Update

February 26, 2021

One of the largest structures in the Milky Way galaxy, the North Polar Spur, was discovered at radio and X-ray wavelengths. The Spur is a giant ridge of bright emission that rises roughly perpendicularly out of the plane of the galaxy starting roughly in the constellation of Sagittarius and then curves upward, stretching across the sky for over thirty degrees (the size of sixty full-moons) where it appears to join other bright filamentary features.

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