Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

The Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is one of the largest and most diverse astrophysical institutions in the world, where scientists carry out a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, earth and space sciences, and science education. The center's mission is to advance knowledge and understanding of the universe through research and education in astronomy and astrophysics. The center was founded in 1973 as a joint venture between the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University. It consists of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The center's main facility is located between Concord Avenue and Garden Street, with its mailing address and main entrance at 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Beyond this location there are also additional satellite facilities elsewhere around the globe. The current director of the CfA, Charles R. Alcock, was named in 2004. The director from 1982 to 2004 was Irwin I. Shapiro.

60 Garden St., Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
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Kepler proves it can still find planets

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Kepler spacecraft's death was greatly exaggerated. Despite a malfunction that ended its primary mission in May 2013, Kepler is still alive and working. The evidence ...

4 hours ago
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Magnetic fields on solar-type stars

The Sun rotates slowly, about once every 24 days at its equator although the hot gas at every latitude rotates at a slightly different rate. Rotation helps to drive the mechanisms that power stellar magnetic ...

Dec 12, 2014
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Effects of accretion disks around newborn stars

Stars are born in dense, cool clouds of molecular gas and dust. When the local density is high enough, the matter can gravitationally collapse to form a new star, a so-called young stellar object (YSO). In ...

Dec 08, 2014
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Staying warm: The hot gas in clusters of galaxies

Most galaxies lie in clusters, groupings of a few to many thousands of galaxies. Our Milky Way galaxy itself is a member of the "Local Group," a band of about fifty galaxies whose other large member is the ...

Nov 28, 2014
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Sources of the solar wind

The solar chromosphere is the region between the Sun's surface and its hot, million-degree corona. Within this complex interface zone, only a few thousand kilometers deep, the density of the gas drops by ...

Nov 05, 2014
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Tiny "nanoflares" might heat the Sun's corona

Why is the Sun's million-degree corona, or outermost atmosphere, so much hotter than the Sun's surface? This question has baffled astronomers for decades. Today, a team led by Paola Testa of the Harvard-Smithsonian ...

Oct 16, 2014
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A possible signal from dark matter?

(Phys.org) —Galaxies are often found in groups or clusters, the largest known aggregations of matter and dark matter. The Milky Way, for example, is a member of the "Local Group" of about three dozen galaxies, ...

Aug 12, 2014
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Transiting exoplanet with longest known year

Astronomers have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year. Kepler-421b circles its star once every 704 days. In comparison, Mars orbits our Sun once every 780 days. Most of the 1,800-plus ...

Jul 21, 2014
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Sun-like stars reveal their ages

(Phys.org) —Defining what makes a star "Sun-like" is as difficult as defining what makes a planet "Earth-like." A solar twin should have a temperature, mass, and spectral type similar to our Sun. We also ...

Jul 10, 2014
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Are ultra-luminous galaxies colliding?

(Phys.org) —ltra-luminous infrared galaxies ((ULIRGs) are galaxies whose luminosity exceeds that of a trillion suns, By way of comparison, our Milky Way galaxy has a typical modest luminosity of only about ...

Jun 27, 2014
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