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Across the Universe

The Sky Belongs to Everyone

Smithsonian research centers on humanity’s greatest unresolved questions about the nature of the universe.

These questions have been pondered for generations, and our research brings us closer to answers than ever.

Scientists and engineers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian are involved in international collaborations to create the next generation of observatories and advance humanity’s knowledge of the Universe we inhabit and to improve life on Earth through science education, climate research, and technology development.

Researchers at the National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies explore other planets to better understand our planet Earth.


The Most Powerful Telescope on Earth

The Giant Magellan Telescope, or GMT, will consist of seven large mirrors acting in concert as one giant telescope 80 feet across. That large size provides an unprecedented view of the sky and the ability to detect the chemical composition of exoplanet atmospheres. Like NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the GMT will be a powerful tool across the field of astronomy, providing insights into the formation of planets, the structure of galaxies, and the evolution of the universe.

Studying Mars to Learn About Earth

Studying Mars deepens our understanding of the solar system’s formation and evolution, offering insights into Earth’s history and future. Mars exploration, especially analyzing its ancient lakes, reveals conditions predating Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere, suggesting early Mars was more Earth-like than Earth itself in that era. Learn more at the National Air and Space Museum‘s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies.