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

September 23, 2020

Recent science missions and results are bringing the search for life closer to home, and scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) and the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) may have figured out how to determine whether life is—or was—lurking deep beneath the surface of Mars, the Moon, and other rocky objects in the universe.

September 23, 2020

Analysis of previously unpublished data from observations of M87* between 2009 and 2013 by scientists at the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has revealed that the crescent shadow of the black hole is wobbling, and has rotated significantly over the past ten years of observation.

Latest Science Update

September 25, 2020

The solar corona, the hot outer layer of the Sun, has a temperature of over a million degrees Kelvin and powers a wind of charged particles, some of which bombard the Earth producing auroral glows and often disrupting global communications.

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