News Media

Time Magazine names two Astronomy faculty and two alumni amongst 25 most influential space scientists

Time Magazine names two Astronomy faculty and two alumni amongst 25 most influential space scientists

September 25, 2013

Referring to them as "an array of the most brilliant," David Bjerklie and the editors of Time Magazine in a photo-centric supplement entitled The 25 Most Influential People in Space named Avi Loeb, Dave Charbonneau, Adam Reiss and Sara Seager for their contributions to astronomical research. 

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Life’s Beginnings studying how life bloomed on Earth—and might emerge elsewhere

Life’s Beginnings studying how life bloomed on Earth—and might emerge elsewhere

August 20, 2013
Are the inhabitants of Earth the only life forms in the universe, or could life exist elsewhere? As astronomers rapidly identify exoplanets—those beyond our solar system—the question has been transformed from a science-fiction trope to one discussed in scientific journals and conferences according to Professor of Astronomy, Dimitar Sasselov.
Gamma-ray burst illuminates invisible galaxy in the "dark ages"

Gamma-ray burst illuminates invisible galaxy in the "dark ages"

August 7, 2013

More than 12 billion years ago a star exploded, ripping itself apart and blasting its remains outward in twin jets at nearly the speed of light. At its death it glowed so brightly that it outshone its entire galaxy by a million times.  Associate Professor Edo Berger and Ryan Chornock, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, were able to gear up quickly to collect data on it's afterglow just hours after it was detected by NASA's Swift spacecraft on June 6th.

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Exoplanet discovered with new technique that uses Einstein's relativity

May 14, 2013


Artist's conception of Kepler-76b,
orbiting its elongated star
David A. Aguilar (CfA)

A new method for detecting planet that Loeb & Gaudi proposed in 2003 was demonstrated to work and a new planet, Kepler 76b, was discovered with it.

Read More:

Wired UK: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-05/14/planet-discovery-method

CFA Press Release: http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/2013/pr201312.html

Tel Aviv University: http://english.tau.ac.il/news/discovering_new_planet

Harvard Gazette: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/05/building-on-einstein/

Time Magazine: http://science.time.com/2013/06/04/albert-einstein-discovers-new-planet-really/

Water worlds surface Planets covered by global ocean with no land in sight

April 25, 2013


Illustration courtesy of CfA

Astronomers have found a planetary system orbiting the star Kepler-62. This five-planet system has two worlds in the habitable zone — the distance from their star at which they receive enough light and warmth for liquid water to theoretically exist on their surfaces.

Harvard Gazette

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Pan-STARRS Finds a "Lost" Supernova - read CFA press release

March 11, 2013

Cambridge, MA - The star Eta Carinae is ready to blow. 170 years ago, this 100-solar-mass object belched out several suns' worth of gas in an eruption that made it the second-brightest star after Sirius. That was just a precursor to the main event, since it will eventually go supernova. 

CFA Press Release

The preprint of the paper is available on this page:

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~nsanders/papers/12sk/summary.htm... Read more about Pan-STARRS Finds a "Lost" Supernova - read CFA press release

Astronomically close CfA scientists say Earth-like planets are galactic neighbors

March 7, 2013

“The nearest Earth-like planet is probably 13 light-years away; astronomically speaking, that’s just a stroll across the park,” said Courtney Dressing (right), a doctoral student in Harvard’s Astronomy Department. At the press conference Dressing was joined by Professor David Charbonneau (center) and John Johnson, an assistant professor of astronomy at the California Institute of Technology.

Read More in this Harvard Gazette Article:  Astronomically close CfA scientists say Earth-like...

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A learner’s guide to the universe Astronomer Loeb homes in on ‘cosmic roots’ in textbook

March 4, 2013

Astronomy Department Chair Avi Loeb is helping prepare the next generation of astronomers to interpret the coming flood of data from new, more powerful telescopes with a new textbook, “The First Galaxies in the Universe.”

Read about Avi Loeb's work in this Harvard Gazette article: A learner’s guide to the universe Astronomer: Loeb homes in on ‘cosmic roots’ in textbook,

Gazette Article

Video of Lecture, The First Galaxies in the Universe | Center for Astrophysics ... Read more about A learner’s guide to the universe Astronomer Loeb homes in on ‘cosmic roots’ in textbook

Dying stars source of life? Future evidence for extraterrestrial life might come from dying stars

February 28, 2013


Illustration by David A. Aguilar/CfA

A new study finds that researchers can detect oxygen in the atmosphere of a habitable planet orbiting a white dwarf (as shown in this artist’s illustration). Here the ghostly blue ring is a planetary nebula — hydrogen gas the star ejected as it evolved from a red giant to a white dwarf.

Read Article in the Harvard Gazette

Time Magazine Article, Could Tiny Stars Be Home to Mirror Earths?

Xarchive Paper

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