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 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

News Releases

April 3, 2018

This winter has brought many intense and powerful storms, with cold fronts sweeping across much of the United States. On a much grander scale, astronomers have discovered enormous "weather systems" that are millions of light years in extent and older than the Solar System.

March 28, 2018

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is undergoing final preparations in Florida for its April 16 launch to find undiscovered worlds around nearby stars, providing targets where future studies will assess their capacity to harbor life.

Latest Science Update

April 13, 2018

A "core-collapse" supernova occurs when the iron core of a massive star collapses under the force of gravity and then rebounds, generating pressure waves and shocks that propagate outward.

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