The science of astronomy deals with some of the most fundamental issues of human existence and the nature of the universe in which we live. It has had a natural appeal to thoughtful and curious men and women throughout human history.
Astronomy in the Community
The Spacecraft Planetary Image Facility (SPIF) provides research support by assisting students and planetary scientists in their research, and by providing outreach services and educational support throughout the Central New York region and beyond. SPIF also supports the Cornell Department of Astronomy in undergraduate education, student research, NASA mission science operations, PreK-12 educational support, and community outreach. SPIF has been in operation for 43 years, currently sponsored by the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science (CCAPS) and located on Cornell's main Ithaca campus in the Space Sciences Building.
Ask an Astronomer
Since they first stepped out of the proverbial cave, humans have always been intrigued by the beauty and wonder of the night sky and the almost infinite possibilities of space.
Ask an Astronomer is run by volunteers in the Astronomy Department. Most are graduate students at Cornell, and all contribute voluntarily, on their own time, so please take the time to browse the site at the link below and first try to use the existing resources to find an answer to your question.
The Cornell Astronomical Society & Fuertes Observatory
Founded in 1972, the Cornell Astronomical Society (CAS) is a Cornell University undergraduate student organization, and has run public observing nights at the Fuertes Observatory for nearly 50 years. The club is open to Cornell undergraduate and graduate students, but faculty and staff members also occasionally volunteer at Fuertes Open House Nights and other Astronomy Department outreach events. Club members are given opportunities to learn how to use the historic 12" Irving Porter Church Refractor (finished in 1922) as well as many other telescopes at Fuertes.
We open the observatory every Friday night during the academic year from 8:00 PM until midnight, regardless of weather. During the summer, winter, and other Cornell breaks, we generally try to be open from 8pm to midnight if the weather is clear. To find out if the observatory is currently open, call (607)-255-3557 for a prerecorded message. You can visit our Hours & Directions page for directions to the observatory, parking information, and a schedule of upcoming events.
When NASA’s 990-pound Dragonfly rotorcraft reaches Saturn’s moon in 2034, Cornell’s Léa Bonnefoy '15 will have helped to make it a smooth landing.Read More
Cornell researchers developed a starter catalog for finding volcanic worlds that feature fiery landscapes and oceans of magma.Read More
Using computer simulations, Cornell researchers demonstrate that strong reflections can be generated by interference between geological layers, without liquid water or other rare materials.Read More
Cornell astronomers Anna Y. Q. Ho and Shrinivas R. Kulkarni are part of the mission team for the UltraViolet Explorer (UVEX) mission, which has advanced toward a 2028 launch with NASA.Read More