Science Focus Initiatives
 The CfA has selected four science themes where our current expertise and major new investments will lead to significant advances in our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Universe.

Cosmology icon Cosmology
Working from the standard model of the "Big Bang" some 14 billion years ago, we are investigating the early epoch of inflation and the nature and role of dark matter in the evolution of structure in the Universe.
Galaxies icon Galaxies
Soon after the Big Bang, the Universe became a space filled with "stuff:" neutral gas, dark matter, and radiation. After several hundred million years, primitive structures began to form from the first chemical elements, creating the first massive stars and eventually the first galaxies.
 Stars and Planets icon Stars and Planets
Although astronomers have discovered well over 160 planets in other solar systems, we do not really know what conditions actually produce life. We seek to resolve major uncertainties about the complex processes that lead from clouds of gas and dust to stars, planets, and the emergence of life.
 Extreme  Astrophysics icon Extreme Astrophysics
The most violent and energetic phenomena in the Universe include gamma-ray bursts, supernova explosions, black holes, neutron stars, and the as yet unidentified cosmic accelerators which produce the highest energy photons and cosmic rays.

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) will discover Earth-like planets around nearby stars and detect galaxies at the edge of the observable universe.


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