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In Focus


Harvard researchers are asking the big questions about the universe, building tools to answer them, and sharing their discoveries with the world.

A Harvard expert shares advice and insights

A Harvard Online and NASA explainer

An artistic rendering of the Radcliffe Wave, a star-producing cosmic ripple in the local arm of the Milky Way that both looks and moves like a wave.

Riding the Radcliffe Wave

In 2020, astronomers uncovered an enormous secret: A wave-shaped chain of gaseous clouds in our sun’s backyard, giving birth to clusters of stars along the spiral arm of the Milky Way.

Explore recent discoveries in how the wave moves

A young man stands in front of a planetarium with blue sky and clouds behind him

Astronomers observe a star consuming a planet

Researchers reported the first-ever sighting of a star engulfing—and obliterating—a planet, providing a preview of what could happen to Earth.

Learn more about Earth’s fate

A depiction of the Milky Way Galaxy

Finding an explanation for the Milky Way’s warp

Harvard astronomers have performed the first calculations that fully explain why the Milky Way is warped and has edges that are flared like a skirt.

Explore this discovery

Stellar scholars

Home among the stars

As more earthlings make their way to space, for business, pleasure, and research, we’ll need to find solutions for many necessities.

Learn how to prepare for a trip to space

A satellite being deployed in space

How to do business in space

The business of space is no different than new industries everywhere else: it’s tough to launch. Harvard Business School Professor Matthew Weinzierl lays out the strategic roadmap to the stars.

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Exploring space law

Harvard Law lecturer Memme Onwudiwe explains the biggest extraterrestrial issues—and why lawyers should pay attention.

Memme Onwudiwe
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Growing food without gravity

Bioengineering student Rohil Dhaliwal researched plant growth in microgravity.

Rohil Dhaliwal in front of a sign for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena
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Eating while floating

Harvard alum Larissa Zhou sees a future where people eat delicious food in space.

Larissa Zhou floating in a space simulator
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Maintaining our spaceships

The Harvard School of Engineering developed robots for maintaining space habitats.

Robot arms holding things
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Doctors in space

Harvard alum Chidi Akusobi dove deep at NASA’s Aerospace Medicine Clerkship program.

Astronauts training in water
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We want to believe

From exploring the possibility of life in space to theorizing about ways to communicate with it, researchers at Harvard are planning for the day they find out we aren’t alone in the universe.

[A] quarter of all the stars in the galaxy have planets in the habitable zone … it’s not impossible that there may be life elsewhere.”

Avi Loeb

Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science

Avi Loeb posing in front of a piece of artwork

The quest to understand black holes

In 2019, researchers unveiled the first-ever image of a black hole. Just a few years later, an image of a black hole’s magnetic field was finally captured. In 2022, a second image was released, marking a new era in astronomy.

Since then, researchers have made even more observations about these mysterious regions of space. Astronomers have even observed a black hole emitting stellar remains years after consuming a star.

Artistic Rendering of Black Hole Image

Our corner of the universe

Harvard University has a long history of space research that, like the universe itself, continues to expand as we inspire more people to wonder at the cosmos.

Explore our observatory
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An accessible universe

Harvard’s Astronomy Lab and Clay Telescope has been made even more accessible through the addition of ramps and sonification equipment, so everyone can enjoy space.

Explore other ways to experience the stars