Titan topographic map unearths cookie-cutter holes in moon’s surface

Media Note: Images of the topographic maps of Titan can be viewed and downloaded at https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17031. Video can be found at https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17656.   ITHACA, N.Y. – Using the now-complete Cassini data set, Cornell University astronomers have created a new global topographic map of Saturn’s moon Titan that has opened new windows into understanding its liquid […]

Fast radio bursts ‘twists and shouts’ help scientists determine source of cosmic blasts

Media Note: Images, artwork and descriptions can be downloaded at this link. ITHACA, N.Y. – An international group of astronomers has found that the Cornell University-discovered fast radio burst FRB 121102 – a brief, gigantic pulse of radio waves from 3 billion light years away – passes through a veil of magnetized plasma. This causes the cosmic […]

Astronomer scores ‘Oscar of Science’ for mapping of early cosmos

ITHACA, N.Y. – Rachel Bean, professor of astronomy and senior associate dean of undergraduate education for the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University, is among a team of 27 scientists who won a share of the $3 million 2018 Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics this week. “The Breakthrough Prize was created to celebrate the achievements […]

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 […]