Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Science Updates

01/22/2021

The Pleiades star cluster, a brilliant collection of several hundred stars visible in the winter sky near the constellation of Orion, has been admired by people for thousands of years; it is cited in the Bible and the works of Greek authors.

01/15/2021

Quasars are perhaps the best-known kinds of active galactic nuclei (AGN), galaxies whose central supermassive black holes are luminous, sometimes brighter than the rest of the galaxy.

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a "research institute" of the Smithsonian Institution. It is joined with the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) to form the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Because these research activities share Harvard and Smithsonian staff and resources, the links at this website will take you to information posted on the "CfA" pages.