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To Map the Universe, Astrophysicists Launch Largest Sky Survey Yet
In the largest quest yet to map the universe, an international team of researchers is using the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument to survey the skies.
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Center for Astrophysics
Harvard & Smithsonian
How can we expand the limits of human knowledge further into the unknown? The Center for Astrophysics is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Harvard College Observatory that’s designed to ask big questions about the universe, build the tools needed to answer them, and share the resulting discoveries with the world.
Does life exist outside our solar system?
“Remarkably, 21st-century science and engineering may soon answer that question. The new Giant Magellan Telescope, under construction in Chile, promises to reveal much we don’t yet know about conditions on distant worlds, orbiting distant stars, including the potential discovery of life elsewhere in the universe.”
Charles Alcock, Director
The Center for Astrophysics
Big Questions
See All The Big Questions
Does life exist outside of the solar system?
How do stars and planets form and evolve?
What do black holes look like?
What is the universe made of?
Research Topics
See all research topics
Extragalactic Distance Scale
The night may make a dome over our heads, but it’s still basically two dimensional. To put it another way: we can’t tell how far stars are away from us just by looking at them. The apparent brightness of a star isn’t enough by itself to measure its distance. When trying to find how far distant galaxies are, the problem is even bigger.
To solve the difficulty, astronomers have developed a number of methods for measuring extragalactic distances. Those include finding objects or events with known brightness, looking for the distinctive light from certain types of atoms, and even mapping the locations of millions of galaxies to measure waves in space that existed before any star was born.
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Discover the Center for Astrophysics
BIG QUESTION
What happens to space time when cosmic objects collide?
MEET THE SCIENTIST
Richard Jude Anantua
Current Night Sky
RESEARCH PROJECT
ExoLab
FEATURED NEWS
A Giant Planet Microlensing Event
RESEARCH PROJECT
Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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Alberto Accomazzi
Show Me Something Amazing
FEATURED NEWS
A Barred Galaxy’s Massive Molecular Inflow
Fellowship Programs
MEET THE SCIENTIST
Juliana García-Mejía
BIG QUESTION
What happened in the early universe?
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