Become an astronomer for a day!
Join the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian for an engaging day of science and learning at “Cambridge Explores the Universe!” Meet researchers, scientists, and staff who will help you to explore the mysteries of deep space. Hosted as part of the annual Cambridge Science Festival, Cambridge Explores the Universe invites space scientists of all ages to explore the wonder of the universe together at this out-of-this-world astronomy extravaganza!
Enjoy exploration stations that include hands-on activities, telescope tours, solar observing, a tech hub, and even visit our historic photographic plate stacks. There's also a chance to ask our experts all of your burning questions about space and the universe at our "Ask a Scientist" tables. Don't miss this opportunity to find out the latest discoveries about the sun, exoplanets, black holes, and more!
Visitors to Cambridge Explores the Universe can also request their own images using our MicroObservatory robotic telescopes, go on a virtual tour of space using the World Wide Telescope visualization lab, or dive even deeper into the universe with some of our virtual reality demos!
This year will be extra special as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Chandra X-ray telescope – You won’t want to miss it!
It’s out of this world!
Registration is not required.
Tours: Space is limited on the below tours. We do not guarantee that everyone will be able to attend a tour. To allow as many as possible access to these tours visitors wll be limited to one tour per person.
— The Great Refractor- Tour the CfA's Great Refractor. This historic, 20-foot long telescope, was the largest in America at the time of constructiom in 1847.
— 1.2 Meter Radio Telescope- Tour the CfA's only onsite active research telescope, and learn how astronomers are using this instrument to map our very own Milky Way Galaxy!
— MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope- Visit the roof of the CfA and tour one of the robotic telescopes of the MicroObservatory Network. See how images YOU can request at home make their way from starlight to your computer!
— Planetarium show- Take a guided tour through the universe inside our inflatable planetarium. Grab a seat on the floor beneath the dome as you experience the cosmos through the eyes of a CfA astronomer!
— Solar Dynamics Observatory Control Room- Visit the command room for the Solar Dynamics Observatory, a set of satellites monitoring the sun. View the solar wall, a live video display of the sun's surface!
— Photographic Plate Stacks- At Harvard College Observatory, women studied over 130 years of the night sky, all preserved on glass plate photographs. The HCO's Astronomical
— Photographic Plate Collection is the world's largest archive of stellar glass plate negatives, amassing over 500,000 celestial moments captured in time, some dating back to the mid-1800's.
This event is presented as part of the Cambridge Science Festival.
Cambridge Explores the Universe is perfect for all ages!