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.

Address
60 Garden St., Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
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Near Earth Objects

Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are small solar system bodies whose orbits sometimes bring them close to the Earth, thereby posing a potential threat. Because NEOs are constantly being replenished from the solar system, they are ...

dateNov 25, 2016 in Space Exploration
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Forming stars in the early universe

The first stars appeared about one hundred million years after the big bang, and ever since then stars and star formation processes have lit up the cosmos. When the universe was about three billion years old, star formation ...

dateNov 21, 2016 in Astronomy
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A hydrogen-rich, passive galaxy

Cold gas in the form of neutral hydrogen atoms provides the reservoir for star formation in galaxies from the distant to the nearby Universe. Understanding how it accretes onto galaxies is of crucial importance because fresh ...

dateNov 11, 2016 in Astronomy
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Pulsar wind nebulae

Neutron stars are the detritus of supernova explosions, with masses between one and several suns and diameters only tens of kilometers across. A pulsar is a spinning neutron star with a strong magnetic field; charged particles ...

dateNov 07, 2016 in Astronomy
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Hypervariable galactic nuclei

Extreme variability in the intensity of the optical light of galaxies, by factors of two or more, is of great interest to astronomers. It can flag the presence of rare types of supernovae, for example, or spot sudden accretion ...

dateOct 31, 2016 in Astronomy
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Hotspots in an active galactic nucleus

The nucleus of a so-called "active" galaxy contains a massive black hole that is vigorously accreting material. As a result, the nucleus often ejects bipolar jets of rapidly moving charged particles that radiate brightly ...

dateOct 24, 2016 in Astronomy
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Preparing to study the epoch of reionization

The epoch when the very first stars appeared is a key period of cosmic history. These stars began the manufacture of the chemical elements (those heavier than hydrogen and helium) and their light began the reionization of ...

dateOct 10, 2016 in Astronomy
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Millisecond pulsars

When a star with a mass of roughly ten solar masses finishes its life, it explodes as a supernova, leaving behind a neutron star as remnant "ash." Neutron stars have masses of one-to-several suns but they are tiny in diameter, ...

dateOct 03, 2016 in Astronomy
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