Q&A with Dava Sobel, whose new book “The Glass Universe” explores pioneering work by female analysts at the Harvard College Observatory.
University of Arizona physicist Dimitrios Psaltis has devoted his Radcliffe fellowship to black hole imaging linked to the Event Horizon Telescope project.
At 7:05 p.m. (EDT) today, NASA plans to launch a spacecraft to a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu. Among that spacecraft’s five instruments is a student experiment that will use X-rays to help determine Bennu’s surface composition.
Researchers analyzed archival X-ray observations from the XMM-Newton spacecraft and found that the missing mass from the Milky Way is in the form of a million-degree gaseous fog permeating our galaxy.
Researchers believe they may for the first time detect oxygen on a rocky planet outside the solar system.
The universe is 13.8 billion years old, but our planet formed just 4.5 billion years ago. Some scientists think this time gap means that life on other ...
New findings advance insight on formation of supermassive black holes in the early epochs of the universe.
In less than a week, the spacecraft Juno will reach Jupiter, culminating a five-year, billion-dollar journey. Its mission: to orbit and peer deep inside the gas giant and unravel its origin and evolution. One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Jupiter is how it generates its powerful magnetic field, the strongest in the solar system.
After a flood threatened to destroy the Harvard College Observatory's trove of glass plate negatives, staff members and students from around the University showed up to help move the plates to safety.
Acclaimed theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking discussed the mysterious qualities of black holes during his lecture at a packed Sanders Theatre.
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Harvard Astronomy Department chair Abraham Loeb played an important role in drafting initial plans announced Tuesday for a proposed trip to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Loeb talked about the plan and its biggest challenges.
Phoebe DeVries, a Ph.D. candidate in earth and planetary sciences and a 2016 Harvard Horizons Scholar, will deliver a five-minute talk about predicting seismic hazards on April 5 at Sanders Theatre.
Globular star clusters date back almost to the birth of the Milky Way, and according to new research, they also could be extraordinarily good places to look for space-faring civilizations.
Astronomers announced today that they have spotted a large, rocky object disintegrating in its death spiral around a distant white dwarf star. “We’re watching a solar system get destroyed,” noted a Harvard researcher.
Within the next generation, it should become possible to detect signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars, say researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Scott Kenyon offers an astrophysicist’s view of the New Horizons mission to Pluto.
The high seas of Mars may never have existed. According to a new study that looks at two opposite climate scenarios of early Mars, a cold and icy planet billions of years ago better explains water drainage and erosion features seen today.
Terry Virts, commander of the International Space Station and an alumnus of HBS’s General Management Program, chatted live from orbit about his experiences.
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has teamed up with a telescope on the ground to find a remote gas planet about 13,000 light-years away, making it one of the most distant planets known, according to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
A new study of football-shaped collections of stars called elliptical galaxies provides insights into the connection between a galaxy and its black hole. This new research was designed to address a controversy in the field.
In a quest to find mismatched star pairs known as extreme mass-ratio binaries, Harvard astronomers have discovered a new class of binary stars, in which one star is fully formed while the other is still in its infancy. The discovery of these stellar twins could provide invaluable insight into the formation and evolution of massive stars, close binaries, and star nurseries.
Astronomers announced Tuesday that they have found eight new planets in the Goldilocks Zone of their stars, orbiting at a distance where liquid water can exist on the planet's surface. The discoveries double the number of small planets believed to be in the habitable zone of their parent stars.
Harvard researchers have found that stars slow down as they age, and their ages are well-kept secrets. But astronomers are taking advantage of the first fact to tackle the second and tease out stellar ages.
For life as we know it to develop on other planets, those planets would need liquid water, or oceans. Geologic evidence suggests that Earth’s oceans have existed for nearly the entire history of our world.
Despite a malfunction that ended its primary mission in May 2013, the Kepler spacecraft is alive and working. The evidence comes from the discovery of a new super-Earth using data collected during Kepler’s “second life.”
Harvard physicists look toward new frontiers as they anticipate the restart of the Large Hadron Collider and their ATLAS experiment in spring 2015.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics scientist Jonathan McDowell answers questions on the Orion test run and prospects for getting to Mars.
Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb talked about the search for intelligent life in a lecture at the Science Center.
In 2006, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto from its rank as a planet. But after an hourlong debate between planetary science experts on what constitutes a planet, an audience packed into Harvard’s Phillips Auditorium voted to restore it to its place.
New research by theorists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) shows that we could spot the fingerprints of certain pollutants under ideal conditions. This would offer a new approach in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).
Astronomers announced Monday that they have discovered a new type of planet — a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. This planet is all solids and much bigger than previously discovered “super-Earths,” making it a “mega-Earth.”
Astronomers have created the first realistic virtual universe using a computer simulation called Illustris. Illustris can re-create 13 billion years of cosmic evolution in a cube 350 million light-years on a side with unprecedented resolution.
Time magazine has named John Kovac to the 2014 Time 100, its list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
In breakthrough, astronomers find evidence of speedy ‘cosmic inflation’ of universe.
Four experts, including Nobel Prize winner Robert Wilson, came together for a CfA program titled “50 Years After the Discovery of the Big Bang.”
Originally scheduled to operate on the Red Planet’s surface for 90 Martian days, the rover Opportunity has now logged more than 3,500 days, traveled nearly 39 kilometers, and collected a trove of data that scientists have used to study the planet’s early history, particularly any past traces of water.
A Q&A with science Professor Lisa Randall, author of a new book explaining the significance of the Higgs boson, and why its discovery matters.
Kepler-78b is a planet that shouldn’t exist. “This planet is a complete mystery,” said astronomer David Latham of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). “We don’t know how it formed or how it got to where it is today. What we do know is that it’s not going to last forever.”
Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are drafting the target list for NASA’s next planet-finding telescope, the orbiting Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, which will search the Earth’s galactic neighborhood for planets that might support life.
A malfunction aboard NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has jeopardized what has been one of the agency’s highest-profile missions, one that has revealed a galaxy rich with planets. The Gazette talked to Astronomy Professor Dimitar Sasselov, one of the mission’s principal investigators, about the implications.
Common wisdom among astronomers holds that most star systems in the Milky Way are multiple, consisting of two or more stars in orbit around each other. Common wisdom is wrong.