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. proxima b

    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.

  2. Magnetic stars

    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.

  3. illustration of newly officially named stars

    Gaggle of stars get official names

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

  4. supernovas

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. dragonfly telescope

    Star-starved galaxies fill the cosmos

    Astronomers are detecting hundreds of galaxies that are almost devoid of stars. There are at least four theories on how they got that way.

  7. Vela supercluster

    Giant gathering of galaxies discovered hiding on far side of Milky Way

    An uncharted supercluster of galaxies lurks about 800 million light-years away, partly hidden by the Milky Way.

  8. illustration of Swift satellite

    Mysterious radio signals pack power and brilliance

    The brightest fast radio burst has been detected, while another team reveals a previous burst might have carried gamma rays as well as radio waves across space.

  9. Astronomy

    Interactive map reveals hidden details of the Milky Way

    Gleamoscope, an interactive map, lets you explore the Milky Way galaxy and the nearby universe in many different electromagnetic frequencies.

  10. three images of protoplanetary disks around stars

    Young planets carve rings and spirals in the gas around their suns

    New telescope images show rings and spiral arms in disks encircling young stars, suggesting the presence of actively growing planets.

  11. Pluto
    Planetary Science

    X-ray mystery shrouds Pluto

    Chandra telescope detects seven X-ray photons coming from Pluto, suggesting that the solar wind runs into a tail of gas streaming from the dwarf planet.

  12. Mars lander impact site
    Planetary Science

    Mars lander debris spotted

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter imaged the impact site of the Schiaparelli Mars lander, missing in action since its October 19 descent.