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 Cassini captured this photo of Saturn's rings


Flyby of Saturn’s C ring prompts plateau puzzlement

As NASA’s Cassini spacecraft threaded its way through Saturn’s rings to acquire the last drops of data before its fatal plunge into the planet nearly two years ago, it collected spectral information about the enchanting C ring and its bright plateaus.

Instead of uncovering definitive scientific answers, the spectral images from the Cassini flyby triggered more questions, according to new research published June 13 in Science.

 A graduation cap message honoring Carl Sagan


Smiles, sunshine, sweets and song punctuate Commencement

As students began to line up for Cornell’s 2019 Commencement May 26, the morning skies that threatened rain gave way to rays of sunshine wriggling between the clouds. Families noshed on bagels, cream cheese and coffee in Collegetown before heading to Schoellkopf Field for the pomp and circumstance.

 Merrill Scholar thanks her high school teacher


Merrill scholars honor their mentoring teachers, professors

The arc of educational continuity and inspirational teaching was celebrated May 22 at the 31st annual Merrill Presidential Scholars convocation in Willard Straight Hall. Thirty-four seniors – among the very best of the Class of 2019 – honored beloved, guiding-light high school teachers and inspirational Cornell faculty members.

 Jacob Mathal


Rawlings scholars exhibit wide-ranging research

Fresh air, nature and playing outdoors is the perfect prescription for sedentary and sluggish children, Briana Lui ’19 advises. Lui and more than three dozen Cornell seniors presented their undergraduate research at the 17th annual Hunter R. Rawlings III Research Scholars Senior Expo on April 17 in the Physical Sciences Building and the Clark Atrium.
 Titan lakes


Cassini’s last Titan flyby reveals deep methane lakes, Earth-like cycles

By examining data from the Cassini spacecraft’s last close encounter with Saturn’s moon Titan, scientists have found that its methane-filled lakes are up to 300 feet deep, much deeper than previously thought.

 Elizabeth Latham


Calling for kindness, Elizabeth Latham ’20 wins sermon contest

Elizabeth Latham ’20 – calling for kindness throughout the world with her oration, “Feed and You Will Be Fed” – won the ninth annual Harold I. Saperstein ’31 Cornell Student Topical Sermon Contest.
 NASA's InSight


Weather on Mars: Chilly with a chance of ‘dust devils’

NASA's Insight mission now provides daily weather reports from Mars, with help from Cornell astronomer Don Banfield.
 Opportunity Mars Rover


Built to last 90 days, Mars rover Opportunity ends mission after 15 years

Opportunity reshaped our understanding of ancient Mars: it was "more habitable, more Earthlike," says Cornell astronomer Steve Squyres.
 NASA and JPL mission engineers continue to check tools aboard the Martian lander InSight in this photo from Dec. 4.


NASA’s InSight captures first ‘sound’ of Martian wind

“Listening to this sound from the [lander’s] pressure sensor reminds me of a windy summer afternoon," said astronomer Don Banfield.
 Kristina Hugar, Ph.D. ‘15, Ecolectro’s chief science officer, conducts research in the startup’s laboratory space at Cornell’s McGovern Center.


Ecolectro receives $1.7M from DOE to accelerate hydrogen fuel development

A Cornell startup is working toward a day when harmful carbon dioxide in automobile exhaust vanishes into thin air – for good.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has granted $1.7 million to Ecolectro to accelerate production of hydrogen – a green fuel of the future. Ecolectro is based at the McGovern Family Center for Venture Development, a Cornell business incubator.

 Mars equipment


As InSight lands on Mars, Cornell's Banfield gets to work

After cruising for 205 days over 301 million miles, NASA’s InSight spacecraft – a mission designed to probe beneath the surface of Mars – landed flawlessly Nov. 26 at Elysium Planitia.
 Maryame El Moutamid, research associate in the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science


Odd bodies, rapid spins keep cosmic rings close

Forget those shepherding moons. Gravity and the odd shapes of asteroid Chariklo and dwarf planet Haumea – small objects deep in our solar system – can be credited for forming and maintaining their own rings, according new research in Nature Astronomy.

 atacama desert rainbow


For arid, Mars-like Peruvian desert, rain brings death

When rains fell on the arid Atacama Desert, it was reasonable to expect floral blooms to follow. Instead, the water brought death.

An international team of planetary astrobiologists has found that after encountering never-before-seen rainfall three years ago at the arid core of Peru’s Atacama Desert, the heavy precipitation wiped out most of the microbes that had lived there.

 hangovers from 50 years ago


Hangovers note 50th anniversary with Nov. 10 concert

After a half-century singing songs you know, the Cornell Hangovers offer a harmonic convergence to celebrate their golden anniversary. The group’s Fall Tonic concert will be Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. at Bailey Hall

 2015 Homecoming Weekend: Professor Robert Isaacs (MUSIC) speaks at the Cornell Glee Club Homecoming Concert.


Glee Club to sing its history at Nov. 3 concert

The Cornell University Glee Club, the university’s oldest, continuously operating student organization, will celebrate its sesquicentennial with a free concert. The group will sing pieces from different eras Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in Sage Chapel. The event is open to the public.
 "any person, any study" seal


At 150, ‘… any person … any study’ still stands strong

One hundred and fifty years ago, the “radical” idea that was Cornell University became a reality.

 Graphic showing how the planet had a different light signature due to the dominance of moss.


Astronomers use Earth’s history as guide to spot vegetation on new worlds

A new model by Cornell astronomers will help identify possible life on exoplanets.
 IVF image


Device to corral viable sperm may speed IVF process

For couples hoping for a baby via in vitro fertilization, chances have improved. A process that once took hours now takes minutes: Cornell scientists have created a microfluidic device that quickly corrals strong and speedy sperm viable for fertilization.

 Robert Plane smiling, holding a pencil


Former Cornell Provost Robert Plane dies at 90

Robert A. Plane, a professor emeritus of chemistry who served as the university’s eighth provost during the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s, later becoming an innovative Finger Lakes vintner, died Aug. 6 at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
 plant-bacteria symbiosis


NSF awards BTI $1M to study plant-bacteria symbiosis

To root out the scientific complexities between nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria and its close alliance with plants, the National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.1 million Dimensions of Biodiversity grant to the Cornell-affiliated Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI). Unlocking the genetic and ecological detail behind this symbiotic relationship may help reduce agricultural dependence on synthetic fertilizer.