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

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, the University of Texas and NASA have found the first evidence that the moon’s axis has reoriented, according to new research published in Icarus.


Preserving our 'pale blue dot' is focus of first Sagan lecture

Lord Martin Rees, who has probed deep into the cosmos, studied gamma-ray bursts and galactic formations, spoke May 8 at Cornell’s David L. Call Alumni Auditorium on issues closer to home: the preservation of our “pale blue dot.”

 Students sharing posters at forum


CURB enthusiasm: Undergrads show off research at forum

More than 80 students unveiled their scholarly work at the 32nd annual Spring Research Forum hosted April 27 by the Cornell Undergraduate Research Board (CURB).

 Rawling scholar student


Rawlings scholars navigate to senior research success

The Rawlings scholars program, which features a wide range of undergraduate research, provides significant support to students who have strong academic potential and intellectual curiosity.
 Enceladus photo


For Saturn moon, possible 'restaurant' at bottom of the sea

Galactic hitchhikers take note: The restaurant at the end of the universe may be closer than we think. After probing data from NASA spacecraft Cassini’s flight through the watery plume of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus, scientists from the Southwest Research Institute, Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Lab and Cornell confirm the presence of molecular hydrogen.
 Students in front of U.S. Capital


Students share tales of global climate change on Capitol Hill

"Making the climate change issue more personal, rather than hammering a person with ‘facts,’ is our first step in getting acceptance of it as a global problem."
 Saturn's small moon Pan


Cornell team planned cosmic photo shoot of Saturn's moon Pan

Astronomy meets gastronomy: NASA’s Cassini spacecraft flew by and photographed a close-up of Saturn’s small moon Pan, never before seen in high resolution. Those images – as science hungered for joviality – revealed this moon looks like ravioli.

 Hong Kong at night


Cornell hosts Hong Kong sustainability meeting April 6-7

Cornell’s wide-ranging, interdisciplinary expertise in global sustainability issues will be front and center when the university hosts a conference about sustainability research, community engagement and opportunities for collaboration in Asia, April 6-7 in Hong Kong.



Basu: Economics of climate change will affect world poverty

If the world’s climate changes dramatically, societal equilibrium and the economics of market forces fall apart.

 Ted Lowi


Ted Lowi, renowned political scientist, dies at 85

Theodore Jay Lowi, the charismatic Cornell professor of government whose dream of an undergraduate program in Washington became reality and whose seminal books – “The End of Liberalism,” “American Government” and “American Political Thought: A Norton Anthology” (co-edited with Isaac Kramnick) – became standards in political science discourse, died Feb. 17 in Ithaca, New York.

 Rocky landscape of Mars


Scientists puzzled over lack of carbonate on Mars

Scientists can’t quite reconcile the carbon dioxide amounts on Mars today from epochs gone by.

 students looking at displays at the observatory


Fuertes Observatory's new museum goes 'back to the future'

Many of the vintage observatory instruments were collected in the 19th century by Estevan Fuertes, founding dean of Cornell’s civil engineering department.


Astronomers offer a new bucket list for other worlds

Forget Rome. Ignore Madrid. Overlook tropical islands. Cash in your frequent flier miles and book a cruise to far-flung, exotic exoplanets.

 Klarman atrium


Klarman Hall receives LEED Platinum certification

Klarman Hall – the College of Arts and Sciences’ light-filled humanities building that opened last semester – was certified LEED Platinum July 29.

The U.S. Green Building Council, which certifies LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) structures, awarded the university 87 out of 110 points, the highest total Cornell has ever received.

 Image of Titan's surface


Hydrogen cyanide on Titan key to possible prebiotic conditions

NASA’s Cassini and Huygen’s missions have provided a wealth of data about chemical elements found on Saturn’s moon Titan, and Cornell scientists have uncovered a chemical trail that suggests prebiotic conditions may exist there.

 Truck in a ditch


Atkinson Center gives record number of seed research grants

Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future(ACSF) has given $1.5 million from its Academic Venture Fund to a record 14 new university projects. This marks the third consecutive year ACSF has granted more than $1 million.



Relax, it'll be 1,500 years before aliens contact us

If you’re expecting to hear from aliens from across the universe, it could be a while.

Deconstructing the Fermi paradox and pairing it with the mediocrity principle into a fresh equation, Cornell astronomers say extraterrestrials likely won’t phone home – or Earth – for 1,500 years.



Beyond milkweed: Monarchs face habitat, nectar threats

In the face of scientific dogma that faults the population decline of monarch butterflies on a lack of milkweed, herbicides and genetically modified crops, a new Cornell study casts wider blame: sparse autumnal nectar sources, weather and habitat fragmentation.

 Geologic map of Mars


Ancient tsunami evidence on Mars reveals life potential

The geologic shape of what were once shorelines through Mars’ northern plains convinces scientists that two large meteorites – hitting the planet millions of years apart – triggered a pair of mega-tsunamis. These gigantic waves forever scarred the Martian landscape and yielded evidence of cold, salty oceans conducive to sustaining life.


Hunting for hidden life on worlds orbiting old, red stars

Searching vast cosmic communities like real estate agents rifling through listings, Cornell astronomers now hunt through time and space for habitable exoplanets – planets beyond our own solar system – looking at planets flourishing in old star, red giant neighborhoods.

Astronomers search for these promising worlds by looking for the “habitable zone,” the region around a star in which water on a planet’s surface is liquid and signs of life can be remotely detected by telescopes.