Harvard University astronomers and Smithsonian Institution astronomers explore the cosmos together. The combination of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is known as the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA).

News Releases

April 30, 2019

The Smithsonian today made available a new online interactive that allows users to explore a three-dimensional (3D) visualization of the remnants of a supernova, or exploded star. Designed for use by both general audiences and high school science classrooms, the free materials, available at s.si.edu/supernova, include an interactive simulation, a 360° video, and a multimedia instructional package.

April 16, 2019

Scientists in the VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) Collaboration have published a paper in Nature Astronomy journal detailing the results of their work with the VERITAS array—located at the Center for Astrophysics' Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Amado, Arizona—to measure the smallest apparent size of stars in the night sky known to date.

Latest Science Update

May 17, 2019

Our Milky Way galaxy has probably collided or otherwise interacted with other galaxies during its lifetime; such interactions are common cosmic occurrences. Astronomers can deduce the history of mass accretion onto the Milky Way from a study of debris in the halo of the galaxy left as the tidal residue of such episodes.

SI Specific Information

SI-specific information regarding the government shutdown may be found at alerts.si.edu. SAO staff are encouraged to review the website for updated information