Department of Astronomy
Astronomers using data from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope have identified carbon dioxide on the icy surface of Europa – one of a handful of worlds in our solar system that could potentially harbor conditions suitable for life.Read more
A&S Astronomy and Cornell Center for Astrophysical and Planetary Science (C-CAPS) faculty are key to “Thriving in Space,” released Sept. 12.Read more
Researchers have discovered a molecule that could determine the temperature and other characteristics in exoplanets.Read more
A Cornell astronomer who is part of JWST’s Early Release Science program report the first detection of hydrogen peroxide on Ganymede and sulfurous fumes on Io, both the result of Jupiter’s domineering influence.Read more
The Riccardo Giovanelli Graduate Student Support Fund was announced July 15 at “Gas-trophysics Across the Universe.”Read more
“This was a critical meeting as we are less than two years out from anticipated first light with the facility," said project director Gordon Stacey.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.
Laura Flagg and a Cornell-led team of researchers have confirmed, using high-resolution spectral observations, the presence of chromium hydride in an exoplanet atmosphere of the hot Jupiter WASP-31b, opening the door to use this temperature-sensitive molecule species as a “thermometer” to determine the temperature and other characteristics in exoplanets.
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.