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CfA History: Introducing A Summer Blog Series

In recent months, the Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted the daily operations of businesses, schools, and other facets of normal life. Many people, including those at the Center for Astrophysics, have found themselves working remotely or working in modified ways to better adhere to the unique challenges of recent public safety guidelines. While these temporary changes …

large magellanic cloud image

May Zooniverse Newsletter

Hi everyone! Sam and Nico here, the Zooniverse Star Notes project coordinators. First, we hope that you are all staying safe and healthy. We’re immensely thankful to all of our volunteers. These are stressful times and we hope that this project can provide some community right now, especially when we’re separated from others. We have …

Star Notes Month 2 Update

Hi everyone! Sam and Nico here, the organizers of the the Zooniverse Star Notes project. We just wanted to take this time to express our immense gratitude. These are very difficult and uncertain times; we hope that all of our volunteers are safe and healthy. Taking care of ourselves and our loved ones are a …

A History in Handwriting: The Directors of the CfA

In the mid-19th century, the popular exchange of current scholarship between academic institutions led to the creation of Harvard College Observatory astronomical literature collection. At that time, the materials were housed in the Phillips Library, where they remained into the early 20th century. The collection continued to grow, and in 1971 the HCO moved their …

front page of Star Notes on Zooniverse

Star Notes 1 Month Update

Hi everyone! Sam and Nico here, from the Wolbach Library. One month ago, we launched our Zooniverse project Star Notes, a crowdsourcing project that continues the work of Project PHaEDRA. Can you believe that it’s already been a month since we launched our project? We are super grateful to everyone who has helped us so …

notebook cover

Zooniverse Project Announcement

Hi everyone, We are happy to announce that a new project is now up on the Zooniverse website: Star Notes. This project is connected to Project PHaEDRA at the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The goal of Project PHaEDRA is to catalog, digitize, and transcribe over 2500 logbooks and notebooks …

[View of Arequipa Station of Harvard College Observatory with mountains in background] B

“A Peculiar Sense of Proprietorship”

From 1889 through 1927, the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) operated a southern sky photography station in the Peruvian Andes. Led by Solon Bailey, the expedition spent two seasons observing on ‘Mt. Harvard’ near Chosica (close to Lima), before relocating south to Arequipa in 1891, where clearer weather conditions offered better sight. Throughout the life of …

Drive and Joy: Annie Jump Cannon at HCO

Annie Jump Cannon’s astronomy translated the dense skies into a scientific form, and her mere presence made the observatory halls most welcoming and accessible. She could not classify the stars without her colleagues’ help, but they were helpless without her energy and strategy. At the observatory for forty-five years, she became it — embodying its …