Department of Astronomy
After a distant star’s explosive death, an active stellar corpse was the likely source of repeated energetic flares observed over several months – a phenomenon astronomers had never seen before, a Cornell-led team reports in new research published Nov. 15 in Nature.Read more
Telescopes could better detect potential chemical signatures of life in the atmosphere of an Earth-like exoplanet more closely resembling the age the dinosaurs inhabited than the one we know today, Cornell astronomers find.Read more
Crevasses play an important role in circulating seawater beneath Antarctic ice shelves, potentially influencing their stability, finds Cornell-led research based on first-of-its-kind exploration by an underwater robot.Read more
Thirty years ago, astronomer Carl Sagan convinced NASA to turn a passing space probe’s instruments on Earth to look for life — with results that still reverberate today.Read more
The quartz crystals are only about 10 nanometers across (one-millionth of one centimeter), so small that 10,000 could fit side-by-side across a human hair.Read more
The new camera "is actually a very different way of observing the sky,” said A&S research scientist Amit Vishwas ’10, M.Eng.,’14, Ph.D. ’19.Read more
Together the Department of Astronomy and Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science represent one of the world’s leading institutes for space science with over 110 active researchers. Research emphases include cosmology, solar system exploration, exoplanet science, and fundamental astrophysics. Graduate students, early career researchers and undergraduates, are actively engaged in current NASA missions, NSF consortia, and CCAT-Prime/FYST. The department and center also run an extensive and robust outreach program to the broader community.
Department of Astronomy research
The Department of Astronomy is a leading center of astrophysics and planetary science research.
After a distant star’s explosive death, an active stellar corpse was the likely source of repeated energetic flares observed over several months – a phenomenon astronomers had never seen before. Anna Y.Q. Ho, assistant professor of astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences, is first author in new research published Nov. 15 in Nature.
The Astronomy Major at Cornell University is designed to be flexible so that it can be customized to the needs of each student.
Astronomy offers a wide variety of world-class research opportunities in astronomy, astrophysics and space science, with strong multidisciplinary connections, and a friendly and supportive atmosphere.
Reaching beyond campus
In the spirit of the renowned Cornell Professor Carl Sagan, the Department of Astronomy reaches beyond campus in numerous ways. The Spacecraft Planetary Image Facility (SPIF) is a repository of spacecraft data, a facilitator of research, and a hub for PreK-12 education and public outreach activities. Ask an Astronomer has been answering questions from the curious since 1997. The Cornell Astronomical Society conducts viewing nights at the Fuertes Observatory and offers educational programing to the public.