Center for Astrophysics, Harvard and Smithsonian

An artist's impression of the nearby black hole and the star that hinted to its existence. 

Astronomers Discover Closest Known Black Hole to Earth

Researchers believe there may be even nearer ones that have yet to be detected

One reader wonders: Why do we see the Moon during the day and not the Sun at night?

Why Can We See the Moon During the Day? And More Questions From Our Readers

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James Webb Space Telescope composite image of Jupiter 

See the James Webb Space Telescope’s Stunning New Images of Jupiter

Its Near-Infrared Camera captured auroras, moons and the Great Red Spot

The James Webb Space Telescope's first Deep Field image

NASA Releases First Breathtaking Images Taken by James Webb Space Telescope

The five pictures from the most powerful space observatory ever launched offer a deep look back in time and the promise of stellar things to come

China first sent giant pandas as a gift to the U.S. 50 years ago. Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, who arrived in 2000, are on loan until the end of 2023. 

The Wide World of Smithsonian Scientific Research

With astonishing new discoveries in the cosmos and pivotal research much closer to home, Smithsonian science proves indispensable

The first-ever image of a black hole in the Milky Way

New Research

Here’s What the Black Hole in the Center of the Milky Way Looks Like

A team of scientists from around the world collaborated to get a visual peek of the supermassive object

One reader wonders what graffiti was like before spray paint.

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What Did Graffiti Look Like Before Spray Paint and More Questions From Our Readers

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Webb’s 18 mirror segments can lock into the largest telescopic mirror humankind has ever built.

Future of Space Exploration

The Five Big Ways the James Webb Telescope Will Help Astronomers Understand the Universe

The highly awaited observatory is set to break new ground in many areas of astronomical research

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The Wonder of Avi Loeb

The physicist thinks we might have glimpsed evidence of an alien civilization. Despite controversy, he’s determined to find more

Both beer and wine are thought to predate distilled spirits.

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'Which Came First: Beer or Wine?' and More Questions From Our Readers

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Construction of multiple telescopes has begun on Saishiteng Mountain—near the town of Lenghu in the Qinghai province of China. The site could be China’s first major observatory, on par with those in Hawaii, Chile, and the Canary Islands.

Future of Space Exploration

Why the Tibetan Plateau Might Be the Ideal Spot for the Telescope of the Future

A team in China has identified a location that could give the Eastern Hemisphere its first major observatory

A new image of a powerful jet firing out of the black hole at the center of the radio galaxy Centaurus A, taken with the Event Horizon Telescope.

New Research

New Black Hole Image Shows Plasma Jets Blasting Into Space

Researchers say the new, detailed image of the black hole at the center of the Centaurus A galaxy could reveal how its jets formed

A new image of the black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy. The image shows patterns of polarized light around the supermassive black hole, which in turn reveals the structure of the black hole’s magnetic fields.

New Research

Scientists Capture Swirling Magnetic Fields in New Image of Black Hole

The updated picture adds polarization, revealing new details of the stunning cosmic phenomenon

Fourteen contemporary artists collaborated to create a real-life version of the 1947 picture book.

Step Into the Pages of 'Goodnight Moon' With This Enchanting Exhibition

On view at Fort Makers in NYC, the show features 14 artists' reimagined interpretations of objects from the beloved children's book

Exoplanet GJ 1132 b was discovered in 2015 and is about 41 light years away from Earth

New Research

Unusual Exoplanet Might Be Regrowing Its Atmosphere

Remnants of the first atmosphere trapped under the planet’s thin crust might escape through volcanic eruptions

Published in Scientific Reports, the new study by astronomers Amir Siraj and Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, propose that a series of break-ups and chance events sent the huge chunk of space rock our way.

Astrophysicists Chart Source of Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs

A new model explains a possible route for the extraterrestrial rock before it blasted Earth

An artist's rendering of the five-planet system that orbits star HD 108236, or TOI-1233. In the foreground is a hot, rocky planet that resembles Earth.

Balancing Homework and A.P. Classes, These High Schoolers Discovered Four Exoplanets

Thanks to a Harvard-Smithsonian mentoring program, high school students Kartik Pinglé and Jasmine Wright helped discover new worlds

This telescope located in Cerro Tololo, Chile is just one of many within the MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network.

Smithsonian Voices

With This New Digital Telescope Tool, Anyone Can Access the Heavens

This freely available technology tool provides a unique learning experience for budding astronomers and artists alike

The spinning magnetar transferred a remarkable amount of energy to the debris created by the collision, heating the material up and generating a bright glow.

In a First, Astronomers Witnessed the Birth of a Supermassive Magnetar Following a Glorious Kilonova

The scientists originally thought that the cosmic crash would create a black hole

Why does smaller size, like that of the anteater, benefit species in different environments, wondered one Smithsonian reader.

Why Are South American Animals Smaller Than Those on Other Continents?

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