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Support Our Science

Founded in 1973, the Center for Astrophysics I Harvard & Smithsonian is an ongoing collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory designed to ask –and ultimately answer– humanity’s greatest unresolved questions about the nature of the universe.  

Now celebrating 50 years of collaboration, the CfA includes over 850 scientists, researchers, and support staff pursuing a staggering array of scientific inquiry, draws on over 300 combined years of tradition in institutional support for groundbreaking discoveries, and earns support from a variety of sources, including Federal appropriations, University funds, contracts and grants from government agencies, and donations from generous individuals. 

Today the observatories retain their separate identities, each responsible to its parent organization, yet drawing on the coordinated strengths of both Harvard and the Smithsonian. 

A core focus of SAO's work as a Smithsonian research unit is to serve the American public through a commitment to cutting-edge scientific research and providing free and equitable access to high quality science data and educational materials. At SAO we believe the "sky belongs to everyone." With your generous support, the staff at SAO are able to fulfill this mission everyday.



Since the commissioning of the Great Refractor in 1843, the Harvard College Observatory has relied on individual philanthropic donations like yours. With your generous gift, you will continue to ensure our legacy of being at the forefront of scientific research and education while preserving our history. The "Harvard College Observatory Annual Fund" makes your gift immediately accessible to the broadest swath of the Observatory.