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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Imaging a galaxy's molecular outflow

A merger between galaxies can trigger can intense radiation from bursts star formation and from the accretion of gas onto the two supermassive black holes at their centers. Astronomers have observed a strong statistical correlation ...

dateMar 09, 2018 in Astronomy
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A stellar system with three super-Earths

Over 3500 extra-solar planets have been confirmed to date. Most of them were discovered using the transit method, and astronomers can combine the transit light curves with velocity wobble observations to determine the planet's ...

dateMar 02, 2018 in Astronomy
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The structure of an active galactic nucleus

The nuclei of most galaxies host supermassive black holes containing millions to billions of solar-masses of material. The immediate environments of these black holes typically include a tori of dust and gas and, as material ...

dateJan 24, 2018 in Astronomy
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A new bound on axions

An axion is a hypothetical elementary particle whose existence was postulated in order to explain why certain subatomic reactions appear to violate basic symmetry constraints, in particular symmetry in time. The 1980 Nobel ...

dateJan 22, 2018 in Astronomy
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Gravitational waves measure the universe

The direct detection of gravitational waves from at least five sources during the past two years offers spectacular confirmation of Einstein's model of gravity and space-time. Modeling of these events has also provided information ...

dateJan 08, 2018 in Astronomy
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the geometry of nuclear black hole accretion disks

Supermassive black holes with millions or even billions of solar-masses of material are found at the nuclei of most galaxies, including our Milky Way. A torus of dust and gas orbits around the black hole (at least according ...

dateJan 03, 2018 in Astronomy
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Cosmic filament probes our galaxy's giant black hole

The center of our Galaxy has been intensely studied for many years, but it still harbors surprises for scientists. A snake-like structure lurking near our galaxy's supermassive black hole is the latest discovery to tantalize ...

dateDec 20, 2017 in Astronomy
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