Christopher Crockett

Interim Astronomy Writer

Christopher Crockett is a freelance science writer and editor based in Arlington, Va. Crockett 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. dust map of Milky Way

    Gravitational wave discovery gives way to Milky Way dust

    New polarization maps from the Planck satellite suggest that the BICEP2 announcement this year of primordial gravitational waves might be due entirely to dust in our galaxy.

  2. The galaxies M60-UCD1 and M60

    Enormous black hole resides at core of tiny galaxy

    A small galaxy stores 15 percent of its mass in a black hole, suggesting compact galaxies might be shreds of once larger galaxies.

  3. galaxy simulations with dark matter

    Tweak to dark matter may explain Milky Way mystery

    Dark matter weakly interacting with light in the early universe might have prevented satellite galaxies from forming around Milky Way, astronomers propose.

  4. Star cluster Messier 54

    Mystery of missing lithium extends beyond Milky Way

    Stars in cluster Messier 54, part of a nearby dwarf galaxy, have just as little lithium as stars in the Milky Way, suggesting that the mystery of the missing element is universal.

  5. Astronomy

    Milky Way connected to a vast network of galaxies

    The Milky Way galaxy lives on the outer edge of a newly discovered supercluster of galaxies named Laniakea that is 520 million light-years across.

  6. Astronomy

    Subatomic particles give glimpse into sun’s core

    For the first time, a subterranean detector has captured neutrinos generated in the main nuclear reactions that power the sun.

  7. Astronomy

    Wake of nearby supernova hints at explosion’s origins

    Gamma rays from radioactive decay of cobalt formed in a nearby supernova reveal unprecedented details of the explosion’s aftermath.

  8. Astronomy

    Distance to quasars debated

    Some astronomers thought quasars were buzzing around our galaxy; turns out these starlike objects live on the other side of the universe.

  9. Astronomy

    Dust nabbed by spacecraft may be from outside the solar system

    NASA’s Stardust mission captured seven particles that probably come from interstellar space, providing researchers with the first direct samples from beyond the solar system.

  10. Astronomy

    Single black hole may be masquerading as a pair

    New observations of a recently discovered binary black hole reveal that astronomers may have been seeing double.

  11. Planetary Science

    Saturn moon’s geysers draw water from subsurface sea

    More than six years of Cassini data indicate that the water jets on the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus connect to deep-ocean reservoirs via expanding cracks in surface ice.

  12. Astronomy

    Gamma rays streaming from stellar explosions stump astronomers

    The Fermi satellite detected gamma rays coming from an unexpected source — and astronomers don’t understand what made that possible.