From General Relativity to Extragalactic Research, on the Ground and in Space
by Daniel Hada Harianja ’18
A significant proportion of modern astronomy and planetary science research is done by researchers funded entirely by grants and contracts, particularly from NASA. “CCAPS provides an administrative and scientific home for these researchers, who add tremendous value to the overall research portfolio at Cornell,” says Jonathan I. Lunine, Astronomy, who is CCAPS’ current director.
Closely connected to and supporting the Department of Astronomy, over the years CCAPS has administered research grants and contracts across several Cornell departments. Originally conceived in 1959 as the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, CCAPS was given its current name in 2015.
CCAPS members employ various ground- and space-based facilities in their research. This include Arecibo, the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Mars Science Laboratory, Cassini-Huygens at Saturn, Juno to Jupiter, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Dawn to Vesta and Ceres, and the Europa Mission. The researchers also perform theoretical investigations into cosmology, general relativity, galactic and extragalactic astronomy, plasma astrophysics, stellar astrophysics, black hole astrophysics, planetary physics and chemistry, exoplanets, and astrobiology.
In response to further developments in the space sciences, CCAPS continues to provide an organizational home for research scientists and their grants, maximizing cutting-edge research.