Billions of Celestial Objects Revealed in Gargantuan Survey of the Milky Way
Did Supernovae Help Form Barnard's Loop?
The Magnetic Field in Milky Way "Bones"
The Role of Turbulence in Making Massive Stars
Dust Grains from Supernovae
Cold Molecular Clouds as Cosmic Ray Detectors
Scientists Uncover Warehouse-Full of Complex Molecules Never before Seen in Space
Scientists Determine 'Oumuamua Isn't Made From Molecular Hydrogen Ice After All
NASA Selects New Mission to Explore Origins of Universe
AstroAI is a center that develop artificial intelligence to solve some of the most interesting and challenging problems in astronomy.
GMACS - Moderate Dispersion Optical Spectrograph for the Giant Magellan Telescope is a powerful optical spectrograph that will unlock the power of the Giant Magellan Telescope for research ranging from the formation of stars and planets to cosmology.
Coordinated Molecular Probe Line Extinction Thermal Emission (COMPLETE) Survey of Star Forming Regions
Star formation is a complex process, beginning from cold clouds of gas and dust and ending with the diverse population of stars we observe in our galaxy and beyond. Studying that process requires many different types of astronomical observations to capture the composition, dynamics, and other properties of star-forming regions. While most researchers focus on certain aspects of these systems, the COordinated Molecular Probe Line Extinction Thermal Emission (COMPLETE) Survey of Star Forming Regions was an ambitious project designed to capture as much information as possible, using data from multiple observatories to accomplish the task. During the survey’s data-collecting period, each of these observatories provided a different type of observation on three star-forming regions in the Milky Way, across the infrared, microwave, and radio part of the spectrum of light. COMPLETE was a collaboration between astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian and other universities around the world.
From Molecular Cores to Planet Forming Disks (c2d)
Since the 1990s, astronomers have identified thousands of exoplanets, indicating that the Milky Way alone could be host to hundreds of billions of planets. However, we are still learning how these planets formed in the first place, crucial information in understanding the variety of systems researchers have cataloged. To fill in those gaps, astronomers from the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian collaborated with others from around the world on the project named “From Molecular Cores to Planet Forming Disks” (c2d). This program used NASA’s Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope to observe star-forming systems and the protoplanetary disks where future planets are born. The c2d program ended its observational phase in the mid-2000s, but maintains a catalog of these systems that continues to be used by astronomers studying star formation.
Gould's Belt Survey
Gould’s Belt is a long chain of clouds in the Milky Way comprised of stellar nurseries and hot young stars. Stretching across a substantial part of the night sky, Gould’s Belt includes the Orion Nebula — the middle object in Orion’s “sword” — and a number of other star-forming regions. These regions are opaque in visible light, so the Spitzer Gould’s Belt Survey project used NASA’s Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope, the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii to map the region in infrared and submillimeter light. The survey was led by scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, in collaboration with a number of other institutions around the world. Since the completion of observations in 2006, the data has continued to supply astronomers with insights into the formation of new stars in the Milky Way.