headshot of Associate News Editor Christopher Crockett

Christopher Crockett

Associate News Editor

Christopher Crockett is an Associate News Editor. He was formerly the astronomy writer from 2014 to 2017, and he has a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.

All Stories by Christopher Crockett

  1. Planetary Science

    50 years ago, the first probe to visit Mercury launched

    In the 1970s, NASA’s Mariner 10 became the first spacecraft to visit Mercury. Only one other probe has made the journey and another one is on its way.

  2. Planetary Science

    Here is the first direct look at Neptune’s rings in more than 30 years

    In 1989, the Voyager 2 spacecraft took the first pics of Neptune’s rings. Now, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is providing a more detailed look.

  3. Astronomy

    How radio astronomy put new eyes on the cosmos

    A century ago, radio astronomy didn’t exist. But since the 1930s, it has uncovered cosmic secrets from planets next door and the faint glow of the universe’s beginnings.

  4. Cosmology

    ‘Flashes of Creation’ recounts the Big Bang theory’s origin story

    In ‘Flashes of Creation,’ author Paul Halpern tells the story of George Gamow , Fred Hoyle and their decades-long sparring match about the Big Bang.

  5. Planetary Science

    NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has begun its first science campaign

    Now about 1 kilometer south of its landing spot, the rover has spotted several promising spots in its search for hints of ancient life.

  6. Space

    This new image reveals a sunspot in unrivaled detail

    An image taken by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope — the largest solar observatory on Earth — provides the best look yet at a sunspot.

  7. Space

    A ‘lake’ on Mars may be surrounded by more pools of water

    Radar data hint at patches of liquid water beneath Martian polar ice, but some urge caution in interpreting results.

  8. Planetary Science

    Earth’s building blocks may have had far more water than previously thought

    Space rocks and dust from the inner solar system could have delivered enough water to account for all the H2O in the planet’s mantle.

  9. Space

    Salty water might exist on Mars, but it’s probably too cold for life

    Salty liquids may last for several hours on the Red Planet but be too chilly for any known microorganisms from Earth to survive, simulations suggest.

  10. Space

    Interstellar comet Borisov has an unexpected amount of carbon monoxide

    The second known visitor from outside the solar system has three times as much CO relative to H2O than any comet seen in the inner solar system.

  11. Astronomy

    New images of the sun reveal superfine threads of glowing plasma

    Snapshots from NASA’s High-Resolution Coronal Imager show thin filaments of plasma not seen before in the sun’s outer atmosphere.

  12. Astronomy

    ‘Oumuamua might be a shard of a broken planet

    A new origin story for the solar system’s first known interstellar visitor suggests it may have been part of a world that got shredded by its star.