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. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

    Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin revealed stars’ composition and broke gender barriers

    The book ‘What Stars Are Made Of’ celebrates the life of astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin.

  2. black hole explosion

    A black hole eruption marks the most powerful explosion ever spotted

    Hundreds of millions of years ago, a black hole blasted out roughly 100 billion times as much energy as the sun is expected to emit in its lifetime.

  3. Earth's magnetic field
    Planetary Science

    An ancient magma ocean may have once driven Earth’s magnetic field

    Computer simulations of molten silicate under extreme temperatures and pressures may have just filled in a gap in the history of Earth’s magnetism.

  4. NASA InSight lander selfie

    What NASA’s InSight lander has learned about Mars’ magnetism and quakes

    In its first 10 months, the InSight lander detected Marsquakes and an unexpectedly strong magnetic field at its landing site on the Red Planet.

  5. illustration of a large, dusty galaxy

    An ancient galaxy grew massive — then oddly stopped making stars

    After ferociously producing stars for a few hundred million years, this galaxy in the early universe gave up, and astronomers aren’t sure why.

  6. illustration of ESA Solar Orbiter probe in front of the sun

    ESA’s Solar Orbiter will be the first spacecraft to study the sun’s polar zones

    ESA's Solar Orbiter is now on its way to the sun, beginning a nearly two-year journey.

  7. CHIME radio telescope

    This is the first fast radio burst known to have a steady beat

    Brief blasts of radio energy from other galaxies keep stumping astronomers, but one seems to be on a 16-day cycle, a new clue in an ongoing puzzle.

  8. white dwarf illustration

    The wobbling orbit of a pulsar proves Einstein right, yet again

    Astronomers have found a pulsar’s orbit being rocked to and fro as a neighboring white dwarf whips up spacetime, in accordance with general relativity.

  9. Plasma on solar surface

    These are the most detailed images of the sun ever taken

    First images from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope reveal details on the surface of the sun three times as small as ever seen.

  10. Spitzer galaxy image

    As NASA’s Spitzer telescope’s mission ends, here’s a look back at its discoveries

    For more than 16 years, the Spitzer Space Telescope has witnessed the births and deaths of stars, charted the Milky Way, found faraway worlds and more.

  11. Asteroid 2020 AV2
    Planetary Science

    For the first time, an asteroid has been found nearer to the sun than Venus

    A space rock dubbed 2020 AV2, found in close orbit around the sun, probably got there after a series of close encounters with rocky planets.

  12. Proxima Centauri illustration

    A second planet may orbit Proxima Centauri

    The star closest to the sun may harbor another planet, this one much more massive and colder than Earth.