Ken Croswell

Ken Croswell has a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University and is the author of eight books, including The Alchemy of the Heavens: Searching for Meaning in the Milky Way and The Lives of Stars.

All Stories by Ken Croswell

  1. planet orbiting star WASP-79
    Space

    Most planets on tilted orbits pass over the poles of their suns

    Nearly all of the worlds on misaligned trajectories in other solar systems orbit at nearly 90 degrees to their stars’ equators.

  2. planet Saturn
    Astronomy

    Saturn has a fuzzy core, spread over more than half the planet’s diameter

    Analysis of a wave in one of Saturn’s rings has revealed that the planet’s core is diffuse and bloated with lots of hydrogen and helium.

  3. dwarf galaxy HSC J1631+4426
    Astronomy

    A record-breaking, oxygen-starved galaxy may be full of gigantic stars’ shrapnel

    The newly discovered galaxy may have once been home to stars more than 300 times as massive as the sun — a peek at conditions in the early universe.

  4. Diagram of low-frequency radio waves in galaxy cluster Abell 2877
    Astronomy

    The ‘USS Jellyfish’ emits strange radio waves from a distant galaxy cluster

    The unusual pattern of radio waves dubbed the USS Jellyfish tells a story of intergalactic gas meeting black hole by-products.

  5. pink streaks from the Antlia supernova remnant with galaxies in the background
    Astronomy

    A gargantuan supernova remnant looks 40 times as big as the full moon

    New observations confirm that a cloud in the constellation Antlia really is a supernova remnant and the largest ever seen from Earth.

  6. Nova Persei 1901
    Astronomy

    The number of Milky Way nova explosions per year has been pinned down

    Knowing how frequently these stellar eruptions occur will help determine their contribution to the galaxy’s chemical makeup.

  7. Milky Way galactic center
    Astronomy

    The Milky Way’s central black hole may have turned nearby red giant stars blue

    A powerful blast from the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way’s center may explain the lack of large, red stars there.

  8. Geminid meteor shower
    Space

    December’s stunning Geminid meteor shower is born from a humble asteroid

    Most meteor showers arise from comets, but the robust Geminid shower comes from an asteroid, Phaethon, which scientists are still trying to figure out.

  9. M83 galaxy
    Space

    Runaway stars may create the mysterious ultraviolet glow around some galaxies

    Hot blue stars kicked out of their birthplace can travel thousands of light-years to their galaxies’ hinterlands, new computer simulations show.

  10. Leo I galaxy
    Space

    The Milky Way makes little galaxies bloom, then snuffs them out

    When dwarf galaxies cross the Milky Way’s frontier, our galaxy compresses their gas, sparking star birth, but then robs them of their star-making gas.

  11. Milky Way star cluster
    Astronomy

    The Milky Way’s most massive star cluster may have eaten a smaller cluster

    Observations of newfound stars suggest how the gathering of stars at the galaxy’s core grew so big.

  12. Hyades star cluster
    Astronomy

    The star cluster closest to Earth is in its death throes

    Gaia spacecraft observations of stars’ motion within and fleeing the cluster suggest the 680-million-year-old Hyades has only 30 million years left.