Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

Academic Program

"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 them." 

Thomas Gold, founder of the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research.

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Astronomy Courses

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.
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Undergraduate Studies

Cornell's astronomy faculty, research staff and graduate students are active in diverse areas of modern astronomy ranging from theoretical astrophysics and general relativity to radio and radar astronomy, infrared astronomy and the exploration of the solar system. Cornell operates two local optical observatories, and with the California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the 200 inch optical telescope at Mt. Palomar in California.  A new telescope - CCAT - will be a 25 m telescope for submillimeter astronomy located at 5600 m altitude on Cerro Chajnantor in northern Chile.
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Research Opportunities for Undergrads

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.
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Graduate Studies

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 atmosphere.
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Current Grad Student Spotlight

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 here.
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Recent PhD Spotlight

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.

Hartung-Boothroyd Observatory

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.