Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Science Updates

01/24/2020

A Cepheid variable star is one whose particular mass and age (along with some of its other physical parameters) result in brightness oscillations with a precise period proportional to the star's intrinsic luminosity.

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.

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.