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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Asteroids: Breaking up is hard to do

(Phys.org)—Hundreds of thousands of asteroids are known to orbit our Sun at distances ranging from near the Earth to beyond Saturn. The most widely known collection of asteroids, the "main belt," contains some of the largest ...

dateDec 29, 2014 in Space Exploration
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Planetary influences on young stellar disks

A newborn star typically has a disk of gas and dust from which planets develop as the dust grains collide, stick together and grow. Stars older than about five million years lack evidence for these disks, however, suggesting ...

dateDec 14, 2015 in Astronomy
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Imaging an expanding supernova shell

Supernovae, the explosive deaths of massive stars, are among the most momentous events in the cosmos because they disburse into space all of the chemical elements that were produced inside their progenitor stars, including ...

dateDec 07, 2015 in Astronomy
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Disk gaps don't always signal planets

When astronomers study protoplanetary disks of gas and dust that surround young stars, they sometimes spot a dark gap like the Cassini division in Saturn's rings. It has been suggested that any gap must be caused by an unseen ...

dateNov 02, 2015 in Astronomy
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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 fields, and in ...

dateDec 12, 2014 in Astronomy
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A hot Jupiter around a sun-like star

There are almost 1800 confirmed exoplanets known today, and over 4000 exoplanet candidates. Astronomers have obtained estimates for the masses and radii (and hence the average densities) of over four hundred of these confirmed ...

dateNov 18, 2015 in Astronomy
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Timing a sextuple quasar

Quasars are galaxies with massive black holes at their cores around which vast amounts of energy are being radiated. Indeed, so much light is emitted that the nucleus of a quasar is much brighter than the rest of the entire ...

dateDec 01, 2015 in Astronomy
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Ultra-luminous X-ray sources in starburst galaxies

Ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are point sources in the sky that are so bright in X-rays that each emits more radiation than a million suns emit at all wavelengths. ULXs are rare. Most galaxies (including our own Milky ...

dateDec 22, 2014 in Astronomy
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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 comes from the ...

dateDec 18, 2014 in Astronomy
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