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 trappist system
    Astronomy

    Life might have a shot on planets orbiting dim red stars

    The number of planets in the habitable zone of dim red suns, known as M dwarfs, is growing. They’re a good place to look for life.

  2. illustration of supernova 1987A
    Astronomy

    Observers caught these stars going supernova

    Thirty years ago, astronomers witnessed a nearby stellar explosion, but it wasn’t the first. Humanity has been recording local supernovas for nearly two millennia.

  3. Supernova 1987A
    Astronomy

    30 years later, supernova 1987A is still sharing secrets

    The 1987 explosion of a star near the Milky Way 30 years ago set off years of fascinating findings.

  4. Moon
    Planetary Science

    The moon is still old

    New analysis of moon rocks points to our satellite forming about 4.51 billion years ago, roughly 60 million years after the start of the solar system.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.