Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Science Updates

01/17/2020

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) program uses the patterns of cosmic structure as seen in the spatial distribution of hundreds of millions of galaxies to reveal the nature of "dark energy," the source of cosmic acceleration.

01/10/2020

The interiors of stars are largely mysterious regions because they are so difficult to observe. Our lack of understanding about the physical processes there, like rotation and the mixing of hot gas, introduces considerable ambuguity about how stars shine and how they evolve.

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a "research institute" of the Smithsonian Institution. It is joined with the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) to form the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Because these research activities share Harvard and Smithsonian staff and resources, the links at this website will take you to information posted on the "CfA" pages.