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

June 20, 2018

After a nearly twenty-year long game of cosmic hide-and-seek, astronomers using ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory have finally found evidence of hot, diffuse gas permeating the cosmos, closing a puzzling gap in the overall budget of 'normal' matter in the Universe.

June 5, 2018

NASA and its partners launched a rocket-borne camera to the edge of space at 2:54 p.m. EDT May 29, 2018, on its third flight to study the Sun. The clarity of images returned is unprecedented and their analysis will provide scientists around the world with clues to one of the biggest questions in heliophysics – why the Sun's atmosphere, or corona, is so much hotter than its surface.

Latest Science Update

June 22, 2018

Astronomical masers (the radio wavelength analogs of lasers) were first identified in space over fifty years ago and have since been seen in many locations; astronomical lasers have since been seen as well.

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