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. Mars
    Space

    Salty water might exist on Mars, but it’s probably too cold for life

    Salty liquids may last for several hours on the Red Planet but be too chilly for any known microorganisms from Earth to survive, simulations suggest.

  2. comet 2I/Borisov
    Space

    Interstellar comet Borisov has an unexpected amount of carbon monoxide

    The second known visitor from outside the solar system has three times as much CO relative to H2O than any comet seen in the inner solar system.

  3. close-up of the plasma filaments on the sun
    Astronomy

    New images of the sun reveal superfine threads of glowing plasma

    Snapshots from NASA’s High-Resolution Coronal Imager show thin filaments of plasma not seen before in the sun’s outer atmosphere.

  4. Astronomy

    ‘Oumuamua might be a shard of a broken planet

    A new origin story for the solar system’s first known interstellar visitor suggests it may have been part of a world that got shredded by its star.

  5. illustration of satellites over Earth
    Space

    New fleets of private satellites are clogging the night sky

    As private companies launch dozens of satellites at a time, researchers are assessing the impact on ground-based telescopes.

  6. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
    Space

    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.

  7. black hole explosion
    Space

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. NASA InSight lander selfie
    Space

    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.

  10. illustration of a large, dusty galaxy
    Space

    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.

  11. illustration of ESA Solar Orbiter probe in front of the sun
    Space

    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.

  12. CHIME radio telescope
    Space

    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.