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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What happened before the Big Bang?

A team of scientists has proposed a powerful new test for inflation, the theory that the universe dramatically expanded in size in a fleeting fraction of a second right after the Big Bang. Their goal is to give insight into ...

Does some dark matter carry an electric charge?

Astronomers have proposed a new model for the invisible material that makes up most of the matter in the Universe. They have studied whether a fraction of dark matter particles may have a tiny electrical charge.

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 ...

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 ...

Using the universe as a 'cosmological collider' (Update)

Physicists are capitalizing on a direct connection between the largest cosmic structures and the smallest known objects to use the universe as a "cosmological collider" and investigate new physics.

Proxima Centauri might be more sunlike than we thought

In August astronomers announced that the nearby star Proxima Centauri hosts an Earth-sized planet (called Proxima b) in its habitable zone. At first glance, Proxima Centauri seems nothing like our Sun. It's a small, cool, ...

Universe's first life might have been born on carbon planets

Our Earth consists of silicate rocks and an iron core with a thin veneer of water and life. But the first potentially habitable worlds to form might have been very different. New research suggests that planet formation in ...

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