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
Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science
The Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science (CCAPS) fosters cooperative research among astronomers, engineers, geologists and other researchers with specialties relevant to space sciences. Connected to and contained within the Department of Astronomy, CCAPS administers research grants and contracts across several Cornell Departments. CCAPS was founded in 1959 as the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, by Cornell professor Thomas Gold (1920-2004), and renamed in 2015.
The Carl Sagan Institute
The interdisciplinary Carl Sagan Institute is actively searching for signs of life on other worlds, creating novel strategies – a “forensic toolkit” -- for discovering life from the solar system to the Galaxy. Researchers at CSI explore planets, moons and planetary systems, including how they form and evolve, and whether they can harbor life.
Cornell astronomers have been, and are, leading the direction of space exploration, including having chaired NASA’s Advisory Council and Space Science Advisory as well as panels for the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. Cornell astronomers currently have roles in almost three-quarters of all active NASA missions, including the Perseverance Mars2020 and Insight missions currently on Mars; the Juno mission exploring Jupiter; the forthcoming Europa Clipper mission to an ocean world, the James Webb Space Telescope that will search for exoplanets; and the Dragonfly mission to Titan.
Featured Mission: James Webb Space Telescope
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope — the largest and most powerful space science observatory ever built — is designed to give astronomers unprecedented insight into the mysteries of the cosmos. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency. It is scheduled to launch this fall. Cornell University scientists are playing key roles in the mission.
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
“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
Rachel Bean, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor in the Department of Astronomy and senior associate dean for math and science, has been named interim A&S dean.Read more
A 15-year collaboration in which Cornell astrophysicists have played leading roles has found the first evidence of gravitational waves slowly undulating through the galaxy.Read more
"Scientists say they are starting to find signs of an elusive type of rumbling through space that could be created by the biggest, baddest black holes in the universe."Read more
“Gas-trophysics Across the Universe,” a July 15 symposium, will celebrate the work and lives of renowned Cornell astronomers Peter Gierasch and Riccardo Giovanelli.Read more
SPIF: Bringing Research and Educational Support to the Community
The Spacecraft Planetary Image Facility (SPIF) is an active research facility, providing assistance to students and planetary scientists worldwide in GIS and image processing. It is also a public facility open to visitors, and provides outreach services and PreK-12 educational support throughout the Central New York region, and beyond through virtual programs. SPIF supports the Cornell Department of Astronomy in undergraduate education, student research, NASA mission science operations, and community outreach. The facility is located on Cornell's main Ithaca campus in the Space Sciences Building. It has been in operation since 1980 and is currently sponsored by the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science (CCAPS).