Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Science Updates


Most galaxies are thought to host a supermassive black hole at their nucleus, and dozens have been indirectly measured using techniques ranging from imaging (the most famous recent example using the Event Horizon Telescope) to modeling the motion of matter that orbits them.


Nearly forty years ago, as he thought about the dramatic new millimeter wavelength observations of gas in star-forming molecular clouds and their newly derived masses and motions, Gary Larson realized a few basic principles seemed to be at work.

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.