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Mystery Solved: Dust Cloud Led to Betelgeuse’s ‘Great Dimming’

The star Betelgeuse became visibly darker in 2019 and 2020, puzzling astronomers. New images show that the star was partially concealed by a cloud of dust, solving the mystery of the “Great Dimming” of Betelgeuse.
14-Jun-2021 5:00 AM EDT Add to Favorites

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To Map the Universe, Astrophysicists Launch Largest Sky Survey Yet

Nearly 40 years after creating the first, iconic map of the universe, researchers aim for the largest map ever.
17-May-2021 11:40 AM EDT Add to Favorites

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Astronomy Educators Awarded $2.8M to Inspire Minority Youth to Pursue STEM Careers

Using robotic telescopes and other engaging astronomy activities, researchers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian hope to spark interest in the sciences.
14-May-2021 4:50 PM EDT Add to Favorites

Telescopes unite in unprecedented observations of famous black hole

In April 2019, scientists released the first image of a black hole in galaxy M87 using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). However, that remarkable achievement was just the beginning of the science story to be told.
14-Apr-2021 1:25 PM EDT Add to Favorites

First X-rays from Uranus discovered

Astronomers have detected X-rays from Uranus for the first time, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This result may help scientists learn more about this enigmatic ice giant planet in our solar system.
31-Mar-2021 4:55 PM EDT Add to Favorites

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Milky Way Had a Blowout Bash 6 Million Years Ago

The center of the Milky Way galaxy is currently a quiet place where a supermassive black hole slumbers, only occasionally slurping small sips of hydrogen gas. But it wasn't always this way. A new study shows that 6 million years ago, when the first...
29-Aug-2016 10:05 PM EDT Add to Favorites

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Venus-Like Exoplanet Might Have Oxygen Atmosphere, but Not Life

The distant planet GJ 1132b intrigued astronomers when it was discovered last year. Located just 39 light-years from Earth, it might have an atmosphere despite being baked to a temperature of around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. But would that atmosphere...
18-Aug-2016 12:05 PM EDT Add to Favorites

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Is Earthly Life Premature From a Cosmic Perspective?

Cambridge, MA - The universe is 13.8 billion years old, while our planet formed just 4.5 billion years ago. Some scientists think this time gap means that life on other planets could be billions of years older than ours. However, new theoretical...
13-Aug-2016 2:05 AM EDT Add to Favorites


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The Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian is a collaboration between Harvard and Smithsonian designed to ask — and ultimately answer — humanity’s greatest unresolved questions about the nature of the universe.

Founded in 1973, the Center for Astrophysics is an ongoing collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Harvard College Observatory designed to foster innovation and propel discovery.

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