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Fuertes Observatory against a starry sky

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Lai and Mish win initial graduate, professional teaching prize

Dong Lai, M.S. ’91, Ph.D. ’94, professor of astronomy, has won Cornell’s inaugural Provost Award for Teaching Excellence in Graduate and Professional Degree Programs.
Reflections of Mars' South Pole
ESA/Mars Express Mars’ south pole – which looks like creamy swirls in cappuccino – is an icy cap with carbon dioxide and other geologic traits. About a mile below the cap is smectite, a hydrated version of clay.

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Mars’ bright south pole reflections may be clay – not water

“Those bright reflections have been big news over the last few years because they were initially interpreted as liquid water below the ice.”
Glowing gold mountian
NASA/JPL Maat Mons, a large volcano on Venus, is shown in this 1991 simulated-color radar image from NASA’s Magellan spacecraft mission.

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Trace gas phosphine points to volcanic activity on Venus

Cornell astronomers say the detection of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus shows evidence of explosive volcanoes on the mysterious planet.
A planet with stars and a dark sky in the background
OpenSpace/American Museum of Natural History Artistic view of the Earth and sun from thousands of miles above our planet, showing that stars can enter and exit a position to see Earth transiting the sun.

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Exoplanets get a cosmic front-row seat to find backlit Earth

Astronomers have identified 2,034 nearby star-systems – within 326 light-years – that could find life on Earth by watching our pale blue dot cross our sun.
A disk in space
NASA/JPL/Provided In an artist's depiction, the Voyager 1 craft continues to cruise through interstellar space.

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In the emptiness of space, Voyager 1 detects plasma ‘hum’

As Voyager 1 – launched in 1977 – zips through interstellar space more than 14 billion miles away, it has detected the constant drone of plasma waves.
People in graduation caps and gowns wave balloons

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Face-to-face: Families celebrate the newest Cornell grads

Four Commencement ceremonies were held May 29-30, spaced out to meet health guidelines. Though campus was less crowded, the campus mood was warm and celebratory.
Satellite view of a canal
Ursa Space/provided Dozens of oil tankers and commercial cargo ships line up at Great Bitter Lake to enter the Suez Canal in this early April satellite image

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Cosmos unveils space-tech business, science opportunities

More than a dozen space industry leaders, capital investors, startup entrepreneurs, a Jet Propulsions Lab manager and Cornell professors gathered virtually for Cornell’s first Space Tech Industry Day/K.K. Wang Day symposium on April 23 – featuring this year’s event theme, “New Opportunities in Space Technology.”
Campus buildings seen from above, in evening light

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New residence halls named for three Arts & Sciences alumni

Hu Shi 1914, Toni Morrison, M.A. ’55, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54 are honored in the North Campus expansion.
Milky Way

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Ancient light illuminates matter that fuels galaxy formation

Using light from the Big Bang, an international team led by Cornell and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has begun to unveil the material which fuels galaxy formation. Lead author is Stefania Amodeo, a Cornell postdoctoral researcher in astronomy, who now conducts research at the Observatory of Strasbourg, France.
Blue sign: "Hydrogen Fuel Station"

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Green hydrogen filling station fueled by Cornell research

Catalyzed by a Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability grant and prompted by other Cornell eco-friendly research over the past decade like the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute and the university’s Energy Materials Center, the Standard Hydrogen Corporation (SHC) and National Grid announced plans March 11 to build the first hydrogen “energy station” of its kind in the nation.
Walter LaFeber at a podium.

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Walter LaFeber, revered history professor, dies

“Walter LaFeber was the most distinguished historian of American foreign policy in the last 60 years."
Roberto Sierra, sitting at a piano
Cornell University File Photo Composer Roberto Sierra, the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities in the Department of Music.

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Composer Roberto Sierra elected to American Academy of Arts and Letters

The award is considered the highest form of recognition of artistic merit in the United States.
capsule approaches a red planet
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Provided Illustration of the spacecraft containing NASA’s Perseverance rover

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Raring to rove: Perseverance lands on Mars

Cornell researchers spent the eight months since launch preparing for the craft's landing Feb. 18.
Pencil drawing of a fort, seen from above
National Park Service Russian Commander Iurii Lisianskii’s 1804 outline drawing of the Tlingit fort used to defend against Russia’s colonization forces. Cornell and U.S. National Park Service researchers have pinpointed the fort’s exact location in Sitka, Alaska.

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Historic Alaskan Tlingit 1804 battle fort site found

Cornell and National Park Service researchers found the fort using geophysical imaging techniques and ground-penetrating radar.
Bright gold sea with mountains in distance
NASA/John Glenn Research Center An artistic rendering of Kraken Mare, the large liquid methane sea on Saturn’s moon Titan.

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Astronomers estimate Titan’s largest sea is 1,000 feet deep

Cornell astronomers have estimated that Kraken Mare, a sea of liquid methane on Saturn's largest moon, is at least 1,000 feet deep near its center.
 dense, gray swirls on the surface of a planet

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NASA extends Cornell-involved Juno, InSight missions

NASA’s Juno spacecraft – currently orbiting Jupiter, flying close approaches to the planet and then out into the realm of the Jovian moons – and the InSight lander, now perched in Mars’ equatorial region, have both received mission extensions, the space agency announced Jan. 8. Cornell astronomers serve key roles on both projects.
 Illustration of Earth on dark blue background

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Astronomers find possible hints of low-frequency gravitational waves

An international team of astronomers – including 17 Cornellians – report they have found the first faint, low-frequency whispers that may be gravitational waves from gigantic, colliding black holes in distant galaxies. The findings were obtained from more than 12.5 years of data collected from the national radio telescopes at Green Bank, West Virginia, and the recently collapsed dish at the Arecibo Observatory, in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
 Bright yellow star with a small, dark planet

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Researchers detect possible exoplanet radio emission

The team has already begun a campaign using multiple radio telescopes to follow up on the signal.
 Large concrete dish set in lush hills

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NSF to decommission Cornell-designed Arecibo telescope

The large Cornell-designed telescopic “ear” at Arecibo, Puerto Rico, which listened for the enlightening crackle of the cosmos for nearly six decades, now hears silence.

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