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. Exploding star illustration
    Space

    How two gamma-ray bursts created record-breaking high-energy photons

    Light packing up to 1 trillion electron volts of energy bolsters a theory for how these cosmic explosions produce such high-energy radiation.

  2. solar spicules
    Space

    Realigning magnetic fields may drive the sun’s spiky plasma tendrils

    Solar spicules emerge near counterpointing magnetic fields, hinting that self-adjusting magnetism creates these filaments, which may heat the corona.

  3. Arrokoth
    Space

    NASA gave Ultima Thule a new official name

    The distant world briefly visited by New Horizons is now called Arrokoth, a Powhatan word that means “sky.”

  4. Sunburst Arc galaxy
    Space

    Light leaking from a distant galaxy hints at a cosmic makeover’s origins

    Ultraviolet light slips through a hole in a distant galaxy’s gas. Older galaxies might have used the trick to ionize most of the universe’s hydrogen.

  5. Voyager 1 and 2
    Space

    Voyager 2 reveals the dynamic, complex nature of the solar system’s edge

    With two spacecraft outside the sun’s magnetic bubble, researchers get a new look at the boundary between the sun and its galactic environment.

  6. Buzz Aldrin on the moon
    Planetary Science

    Accolades, skepticism and science marked Science News’ coverage of Apollo

    Science News’ coverage of the Apollo program stayed focused on the science but also framed the moon missions in the broader social and political context of the era.

  7. Saturn hexagons
    Planetary Science

    Saturn has two hexagons, not one, swirling around its north pole

    NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spied a vortex growing high over Saturn’s north pole, whose hexagonal shape mirrors a famous underlying cyclone.

  8. Jupiter's magnetic field illustration
    Planetary Science

    Jupiter’s magnetic field is surprisingly weird

    New results from NASA’s Juno spacecraft reveal different magnetic behavior in the planet’s northern and southern hemispheres.

  9. Ultima Thule
    Planetary Science

    New Horizons has sent back the first images of Ultima Thule, its next target

    NASA probe gets its first look at distant Kuiper Belt object

  10. large circular semiconductor
    Particle Physics

    A new quasiparticle lurks in semiconductors

    Strange entities called collexons hint at undiscovered physics among interacting subatomic particles in a semiconductor.

  11. Saturn moons and simulated moons
    Planetary Science

    Satellite smashups could have given birth to Saturn’s odd moons

    Nearly head-on collisions between icy moonlets might be responsible for the peculiar shapes of some of Saturn’s moons, computer simulations suggest.

  12. Jupiter's south pole
    Planetary Science

    4 surprising things we just learned about Jupiter

    Polar cyclones, surprisingly deep atmosphere and a fluid mass spinning as a rigid body are among the latest discoveries at Jupiter.