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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The cosmic evolution of galaxies

Our knowledge of the big bang has increased dramatically in the past decade, as satellites and ground-based studies of the cosmic microwave background have refined parameters associated with the very early ...

dateMay 11, 2015 in Astronomy
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An improved model for star formation

Star formation, once thought to consist essentially of just the simple coalescence of material by gravity, actually occurs in a complex series of stages. As the gas and dust in giant molecular clouds come ...

dateMay 08, 2015 in Astronomy
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Birth of a radio phoenix

Abell 1033 is a cluster of over 350 galaxies located about 1.7 billion light-years away. Collisions between galaxies in clusters are common events, and each merger heats and shocks the nearby gas. The rapidly ...

dateApr 28, 2015 in Astronomy
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Astronomers find runaway galaxies

We know of about two dozen runaway stars, and have even found one runaway star cluster escaping its galaxy forever. Now, astronomers have spotted 11 runaway galaxies that have been flung out of their homes ...

dateApr 23, 2015 in Astronomy
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Cosmologically complicating dust

The universe was created 13.7 billion years ago in a blaze of light: the big bang. Roughly 380,000 years later, after matter (mostly hydrogen) had cooled enough for neutral atoms to form, light was able to ...

dateApr 20, 2015 in Astronomy
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Distance measurement of a microlensing event

The distance to celestial objects is key to calculating their intrinsic properties like mass and luminosity. Distance, unfortunately, is also one of the most difficult parameters to measure. The most direct ...

dateApr 06, 2015 in Astronomy
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Measuring galaxy evolution with globular clusters

Globular clusters are gravitationally bound ensembles of stars, as many as a million stars in some cases, grouped in roughly spherical clusters with diameters as small as only tens of light-years. Globular ...

dateMar 23, 2015 in Astronomy
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Cosmic bumps on cosmic ripples

In 1969, the astrophysicists Rashid Sunyaev and Yakov Zel'dovich realized that the then recently discovered cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) would be distorted by hot cosmic gas. Hot electrons ...

dateMar 13, 2015 in Astronomy
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Nanodust particles in the interplanetary medium

Dust particles smaller than about a wavelength of light are abundant in our solar system, created by collisions between asteroids and from the evaporation of comets. As they scatter sunlight, these particles ...

dateMar 09, 2015 in Astronomy
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Where do stars form in merging galaxies?

Collisions between galaxies, and even less dramatic gravitational encounters between them, are recognized as triggering star formation. Observations of luminous galaxies, powered by starbursts, are consistent ...

dateMar 02, 2015 in Astronomy
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Quadruplets in a stellar womb

More than half of all stars are in multiple systems: binary stars, or even triplets or quadruplets, that orbit one another. No one is quite sure how or why they form, but the effects can be significant, for ...

dateFeb 23, 2015 in Astronomy
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