Center for Astrophysics, Harvard and Smithsonian

Monitor local animal populations, identify plants, transcribe women astronomers' notes, bird-watch and more.

Seventy-Five Scientific Research Projects You Can Contribute to Online

From astrophysicists to entomologists, many researchers need the help of citizen scientists to sift through immense data collections

Students and teachers can download 3-D print-ready files of the Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops skulls.

Ten Smithsonian Artifacts You Can 3-D Print

The list includes Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit, an Abraham Lincoln life mask and a coral skeleton

The central region of our Milky Way is a bustling galactic downtown with a supermassive black hole at its hub.

Chandra Telescope Observes Two Decades of Turning Theory Into Reality

A new book, 'Light From the Void,' showcases the telescope’s images of nebulas, supernovae, supermassive black holes and more

Left to right, top to bottom: Sheperd Doeleman, Michael Johnson, Sandra Bustamante, Jonathan Weintroub, James Moran, Aleks Popstefanija, Daniel Palumbo; Feryal Ozel, Joseph Farah, Neil Erickson, Peter Galison, Katie Bouman, Dominic Pesce, Garrett K. Keating; Nimesh Patel, Alexander Raymond, Kazinori Akiyama, Vernon Fath, Mark Gurwell, Gopal Narayanan, Peter Schloerb

Meet the Global Team That Captured the First Image of a Black Hole

Never before had scientists seen the phenomenon until they rallied colleagues around the world to view a galaxy far, far away

Artist's impression of gas flow in a protoplanetary disk.

To Find Baby Planets, Researchers Chase Waterfalls of Gas

Analysis of data from the ALMA telescope shows gas flows from the surface to middle of protoplanetary discs as new planets form

Based on the speed and trajectory of a newly detected object, astronomers believe it came to our solar system from beyond. This illustration shows the first known interstellar object to fly though our solar system, 'Oumuamua.

Astronomers Spot a Comet That Likely Came From a Different Solar System

After 'Oumuamua, the newly detected rock is just the second known object to visit from interstellar space

First Moon-Forming Disk Detected Swirling Around an Exoplanet

Telescope observations suggest that a cloud of gas and dust around a planet 370 light-years away may be coalescing into planet-sized moons

The image reveals the black hole at the center of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the sun.

Astronomers Capture First-Ever Image of a Supermassive Black Hole

The Event Horizon Telescope reveals the silhouette of a black hole at the center of a galaxy 55 million light-years away


Astrophysicist Mercedes Lopez-Morales Is Grooming the Next Generation of Planet Hunters

"The Daily Show" correspondent Roy Wood, Jr. talks with the astrophysicist about adrenaline, fear, curiosity and attracting younger generations to science

If Light Can't Escape Black Holes, How Do We Get Photos of Them... and More Questions From Our Readers

You asked, we answered

Jupiter Officially Has 12 New Moons

The new satellites are mostly tiny and include one oddball that is on a collision course with some of the 78 other moons orbiting the planet

An artist's illustration of the Tiangong-1 space lab in orbit.

China's Tiangong-1 Finally Crashes Back to Earth

Most of the craft likely burned up as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere

Marvin, a trailblazer in more ways than one, surveys the Antarctic terrain on her meteorite-hunting expedition of 1978-79.

The Rockstar Geologist Who Mapped the Minerals of the Cosmos

A professor told Ursula Marvin she should learn to cook. Instead she chased down meteorites in Antarctica

Nicknamed the Hand of God, this pulsar wind nebula is powered by a pulsar: the leftover, dense core of a star that blew up in a supernova explosion. Before astronomers had any idea what they were, Jocelyn Bell Burnell found the signal of a pulsar in her telescope data in 1967.

Fifty Years Ago, a Grad Student’s Discovery Changed the Course of Astrophysics

By identifying the first pulsars, Jocelyn Bell Burnell set the stage for discoveries in black holes and gravitational waves

Jupiter's Auroras Are Surprisingly Out of Sync

X-ray bursts from the poles are expected to line up, but the south is regular while the north produces haphazard bursts

An illustration of two neutron stars merging, ejecting gamma ray streams and clouds of matter that produce heavy elements and light

Scientists Spot the Spark From Ancient Collision of Neutron Stars

The chirp and flash from the event offers clues to the origin of Earth's precious metals

A triple solar flare recorded in April, 2017

Could a Magnetic Shield Protect Earth From Space Weather?

A bad geomagnetic storm would fry the electric grid and cripple civilization for years—a space shield is cheap by comparison

Your eclipse glasses won't be the only tool to make this month's stellar phenomenon cool

Use This App to Get the Most From the Coming Eclipse

With livestreams, simulations and safety guides, this Solar Eclipse app will be the key tool for the upcoming astronomical extravaganza

An artist's rendering of a star colliding with the surface of a supermassive sphere. In recent years some scientists have surmised that black holes may be hard objects rather than a region of intense gravity and compressed matter.

Could You Crash Into a Black Hole?

Probably not, but it’s fun to think about

An illustration of LHS 1140b orbiting its faint red star

Exoplanet Discovery Arrives in Time for New Telescope Technology

Astronomers call LHS 1140b one of the "best targets" for hunting liquid water with NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

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