"In no subject is there a rule, compliance with which will lead to new
knowledge or better understanding. Skilful observations, ingenious
ideas, cunning tricks, daring suggestions, laborious calculations, all
these may be required to advance a subject. Occasionally the
conventional approach in a subject has to be studiously followed; on
other occasions it has to be ruthlessly disregarded. Which of these
methods, or in what order they should be employed is generally
unpredictable. Analogies drawn from the history of science are
frequently claimed to be a guide; but, as with forecasting the next game
of roulette, the existence of the best analogy to the present is no
guide whatever to the future. The most valuable lesson to be learnt from
the history of scientific progress is how misleading and strangling
such analogies have been, and how success has come to those who ignored
Thomas Gold, founder of the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research.
Cornell and the Department of Astronomy's mission is to discover, preserve, and disseminate knowledge;
produce creative work; and promote a culture of broad inquiry throughout
and beyond the Cornell community.
Astronomy faculty, research staff, graduate, and undergraduate students are
active in diverse areas of modern astronomy ranging from theoretical
astrophysics and general relativity to the study of exoplanets, pulsars, star
formation, galaxy formation and evolution, cosmology, and the exploration of
the solar system. Cornell is leading an international consortium to build a
large field of view submillimeter telescope, CCAT-prime, in the high Atacama desert
in Chile. Several members of the department faculty are also principal
investigators on major NASA space and planetary exploration missions.
Find out what projects our graduating seniors are involved in:
Welcome to the website for Undergraduate Research at Cornell in Astronomy. Use this site as a starting point for
learning about the diverse opportunities for undergraduate research.
Cornell's graduate program offers a wide variety of world-class research
opportunities in astronomy, astrophysics and space science, with
strong multidisciplinary connections, and a friendly and supportive
Want to know what it's like to be a graduate student at Cornell?
Here are short profiles of some of our current graduate
students to give you a feel for what it's like to do graduate study
Want to hear from some recent PhDs from our program? Find out what did they do, why they liked it and where a PhD in Astronomy and Space Science from Cornell can help take you.
The Hartung–Boothroyd Observatory (HBO) is located atop Mount Pleasant near the Cornell University in Ithaca, New York (USA). It is used mainly as a teaching facility for upper-level astronomy classes.
The observatory is named in honor of M. John Hartung and Samuel L. Boothroyd. The telescope construction began in the 1930s and the observatory was built in 1974.