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Byline: Blaine Friedlander

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


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


New residence halls named for three Arts & Sciences alumni

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


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"


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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.

 ice berg


Engineer to model sunshine deflection for cooling planet

Global warming reduction may someday get a cool new tool: climate engineering.

 Arid land, hill in the background


Clay subsoil at Earth’s driest place may signal life on Mars

Earth’s most arid desert may hold a key to finding life on Mars.

Diverse microbes discovered in the clay-rich, shallow soil layers in Chile’s dry Atacama Desert suggest that similar deposits below the Martian surface may contain microorganisms, which could be easily found by future rover missions or landing craft.

 Screen shot showing four people


In election’s waning days, panel sees hope for democracy

Amid the clatter in the days before the presidential election – the long lines at early polls, racial strife, street protests, political ad skirmishes and the streaming patter of television punditry – three College of Arts and Sciences professors offered a bright light at the end of the 2020 tunnel: hope for democracy.

 Close up of a spider with two large black eyes


Buzz kill: Spiders ‘hear’ airborne prey via their legs

"These spiders have finely tuned sensory systems and a fascinating hunting strategy."
 Hand placing ballot in box


‘Democracy Contested?’ forum panel to meet online Oct. 29

As the frenzied 2020 presidential campaign reaches culmination, the nation’s media, political parties and courts brace for a possible contested outcome. But in the United States and around the world, heated national elections are nothing new.

 Planet in foreground, bright star beyond


Smile, wave: Some exoplanets may be able to see us, too

Three decades after Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan suggested that Voyager 1 snap Earth’s picture from billions of miles away – resulting in the iconic Pale Blue Dot photograph – two astronomers now offer another unique cosmic perspective: