Christopher Crockett

All Stories by Christopher Crockett

  1. Planets

    The ultimate getaway — visiting the Red Planet

    At a recent summit, experts discussed the challenges of a human mission to Mars — and how to land a crew there within 20 years.

  2. Climate

    This planet’s lightning storms are like nothing on Earth

    Radio waves from a faraway exoplanet could signal intense lightning storms there.

  3. Chemistry

    Key sugar for life on Earth could have formed in space

    Ribose, a sugar in RNA, may have formed in space and then rained down on a young Earth, a new study suggests.

  4. Space

    Hurricane at this galaxy’s center is wicked fast

    The gale-force winds around one quasar whip by at almost 200 million kilometers per hour. That’s 625,000 times faster than the strongest hurricanes on Earth.

  5. Physics

    Black hole smashup sent out ‘yottawatts’ of power

    When two black holes collided, they released a lot of energy in gravity waves. How much? How about 36 septillion yottawatts of power!

  6. Physics

    Explainer: What are gravitational waves?

    Albert Einstein had predicted that large catastrophes, like colliding black holes, should produce tiny ripples in the fabric of space. In 2016, scientists reported finally detecting them

  7. Planets

    Hunt is on for new Planet Nine

    Lots of clues point to the likelihood that a mystery planet lurks in the outer suburbs of our solar system. Math and the screening of old photos may turn it up.

  8. Planets

    Beyond Pluto: A new 9th planet?

    A giant planet, perhaps 10 times Earth’s mass, may be orbiting the sun from a great distance. Its existence, orbit and size are all surmised, based on strange effects seen in objects within the distant Kuiper Belt.

  9. Planets

    Weird Pluto gives up its secrets

    The New Horizon spacecraft spent almost a decade getting to Pluto. Its first few months of data reveal this dwarf planet is far stranger than scientists had imagined.

  10. Space

    Pollution may give ‘first’ stars a youthful look

    The oldest stars should be made of only light elements. But these suns may have sucked up heavier elements, giving them a more youthful appearance, a new study finds.

  11. Planets

    Picture This: Evidence of liquid water on Mars

    Mars hosts surface salt deposits. They appear to come from seasonal water flows on the Red Planet, a new study concludes.

  12. Planets

    News Brief: Venus may have active volcanoes

    The Venus Express spacecraft detected flashes of infrared light that may be from hot lava erupting from active volcanoes.