Christopher Crockett

Astronomy Writer, 2014-2017

Christopher Crockett is a freelance science writer and editor based in Arlington, Va.  He was the astronomy writer at Science News from 2014 to 2017. He has a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

All Stories by Christopher Crockett

  1. illustration of Jupiter-sized gas blobs
    Astronomy

    Milky Way’s black hole may hurl galactic spitballs our way

    Gas blobs formed in the wake of stars shredded by the black hole in the center of the galaxy could pass within several hundred light-years of Earth on their way to intergalactic space.

  2. NGC 6826
    Astronomy

    Earliest galaxies got the green light

    Galaxies in the early universe might have emitted lots of green light, powered by large populations of stars much hotter than most found today.

  3. Arecibo Observatory
    Astronomy

    Some pulsars lose their steady beat

    Two pulsars spend most of their time switched off, hinting at a large population of part-time pulsars hiding in the Milky Way.

  4. Janus
    Astronomy

    Saturn’s 10th moon was the first satellite discovered in the modern space age

    Fifty years ago, astronomers knew of 10 moons orbiting Saturn. Since then they’ve catalogued a diverse set of 62 satellites, with the help of the Cassini spacecraft.

  5. Very Large Array
    Astronomy

    Gotcha: Fast radio burst’s home nabbed

    For the first time, astronomers pinpoint a precise position on the sky for a fast radio burst, revealing that the outburst originated in a galaxy about 2.5 billion light-years away.

  6. telescopes
    Astronomy

    More fast radio bursts detected from same location

    Six more outbursts have been detected from a repeating source of radio waves somewhere outside of our galaxy.

  7. hydrogen on ceres
    Planetary Science

    Dawn spacecraft maps water beneath the surface of Ceres

    Water ice sits just beneath the surface and within some permanently shadowed craters of the dwarf planet Ceres.

  8. proxima b
    Astronomy

    Year in review: A planet lurks around the star next door

    If people ever travel beyond the solar system, the newly discovered exoplanet around Proxima Centauri is likely to be a first stop.

  9. Magnetic stars
    Astronomy

    Magnetic stars could have created LIGO’s massive black holes

    Strong magnetic fields could provide a way for massive stars to create heavy black holes when they die.

  10. illustration of newly officially named stars
    Astronomy

    Gaggle of stars get official names

    The names of 227 stars have been formally recognized by the International Astronomical Union.

  11. supernovas
    Astronomy

    Stellar vomiting produces dark galaxies, simulations suggest

    Dark galaxies might owe their existence to multiple rounds of prolific star birth and death that eject gas and stretch out their homes, new simulations suggest.

  12. Sputnik Planitia
    Planetary Science

    Ice gave Pluto a heavy heart

    Sputnik Planitia, the left half of Pluto’s heart-shaped region, might have been carved out by the weight of thick layers of ice built up billions of years ago.