Fuertes Observatory celebrates a century of scanning the cosmos

Media Note: To view and download images of Fuertes Observatory, go to https://cornell.box.com/v/FuertesObservatory. ITHACA, N.Y. – Fiery supernovae, delicate rings of ice, planet-hopping comets – visitors to Fuertes Observatory have seen them all. For 100 years, Fuertes Observatory has opened a window to the cosmos for the Cornell and Ithaca communities. On Nov. 17, the Cornell […]

Astronomers see clash of ‘titan’ galaxies – 13 billion years ago

ITHACA, N.Y. – A pair of massive, hyper-luminous galaxies are merging in front of astronomer’s eyes for the first time and revealing secrets of cosmic creation. “Discovering a hyper-luminous starburst galaxy is an extraordinary feat, but discovering two – this close to each other – is amazing,” said Dominik Riechers, assistant professor of astronomy and […]

To keep Saturn’s A ring contained, its moons stand united

ITHACA, N.Y. – For three decades, astronomers thought that only Saturn’s moon Janus confined the planet’s A ring – the largest and farthest of the visible rings. But after poring over NASA’s Cassini mission data, Cornell astronomers now conclude that the teamwork of seven moons keeps this ring corralled. Without forces to hold the A […]

Gravitational waves announcement ushers in new era of multi-messenger astronomy

For the first time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves in addition to light, from the spectacular collision of two neutron stars. This marks the first time that a cosmic event has been viewed in both gravitational waves and light. Cornell University physicists and experts, who played a vital role in validating the detection of […]

First time on Earth: Golden Record cover for Voyager mission on display

WHAT:          Three events to commemorate 40th anniversary of the historic Voyager mission – including new multi-media exhibit showcasing never-publicly displayed Golden Record cover, presentation by scientists who worked on Voyager mission, and screening of the final episode of Carl Sagan’s documentary television series, “Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey.” WHEN:          Oct. 19, 20 and 21 […]

Cornell physicists honored to play vital role in validating detection of gravitational waves

This morning, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 to physicists Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish, and Kip S. Thorne, for “decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.” In this video, Kip Thorne talks about the detection of gravitational waves as a guest speaker […]

Seize the day: Solar eclipses will one day be a thing of the past

On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the U.S., starting in Oregon and ending in South Carolina. It’s been nearly a century since a total solar eclipse touched both U.S. coasts. So how predictable are events like the Great American Eclipse? Phillip Nicholson, an astronomy professor at Cornell University who studies the […]

Titan discovery gets us closer to methane-based alien life

  Titan discovery gets us closer to methane-based alien life   A new paper published today on “Science Advances” provides the first indisputable evidence of the presence of a molecule – acrylonitrile –  on Titan which Cornell University researchers theorized could be key to life on the methane-based, oxygen-free moon of Saturn. Chemical and biological […]

In a cosmic hit-and-run, icy Saturn moon may have flipped

Media Note: Images can be viewed and downloaded at https://cornell.box.com/v/Enceladus. ITHACA, N.Y. – Enceladus – a large icy, oceanic moon of Saturn –  may have flipped, the possible victim of an out-of-this-world wallop. While combing through data collected by NASA’s Cassini mission during flybys of Enceladus, astronomers from Cornell University, the University of Texas and […]

Grab your shades – NASA’S Solar Probe Plus to show incredible detail

NASA is expected to make an announcement about the agency’s first mission to fly directly into our sun’s atmosphere on May 31. The mission, Solar Probe Plus, is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2018. Jonathan Lunine is the director of the Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science at Cornell University and has served on […]