Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Science Updates


An active galaxy nucleus (AGN) contains a supermassive black hole that is vigorously accreting material. It typically ejects jets of particles that move at close to the speed of light, radiating across many wavelengths, in particular the X-ray, in processes are among the most energetic phenomena in the universe.


Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are small solar system bodies whose orbits sometimes bring them close to the Earth. NEOs are consequently potential collision threats, but scientists are also interested in them because they offer keys to the composition, dynamics and environmental conditions of solar system and its evolution.

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.