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 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

News Releases

July 12, 2018

The VERITAS array has confirmed the detection of gamma rays from the vicinity of a supermassive black hole. While these detections are relatively common for VERITAS, this black hole is potentially the first known astrophysical source of high-energy cosmic neutrinos, a type of ghostly subatomic particle.

June 29, 2018

A new study provides new clues indicating that an exoplanet 500 light-years away is much like Earth. Kepler-186f is the first identified Earth-sized planet outside the Solar System orbiting a star in the habitable zone. This means it's the proper distance from its host star for liquid water to pool on the surface.

Latest Science Update

July 20, 2018

Disc galaxies like our own Milky Way, characterized by a flattened disc of stars and gas (often with a central bulge of material as well) have a wide range of masses, spatial extents, and stellar content. Nonetheless all disc galaxies, both locally and in the distant Universe, share some strikingly similar properties.

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