Christopher Crockett's Articles
- Astronomers tracked down the source of perytons, mysterious radio bursts. They had at first seemed to emanate from Earth’s atmosphere. Probing now suggests the life forms responsible had a penchant for leftovers.
- NASA is supposed to begin nonstop screening by 2020 for all asteroids that could pose a threat to Earth. Some astronomers now think the only way to affordably meet that deadline is by using mini-satellites
- Grit in one of Saturn’s rings likely formed in hot water on the planet’s ice-covered moon Enceladus. That suggests conditions on this moon might be able to support life.
- A few stars have been spotted departing our galaxy. The fastest of these might have been propelled by another exploding star, a new study finds.
- But be patient. The distant galactic smashup is still some million years away.
- Stars form from clouds of hydrogen and other gases. Astronomers have found the light from newborn stars can drive off that gas. That action can starve a galaxy of the ingredients needed to make more stars.
- One measure of an extraterrestrial world’s potential for supporting life is the presence of water. The Neptune-size HAT-P-11b fits that criterion.
- The smashup of four clusters of galaxies has sent a super-hot jet of charged particles spewing 2.5 million light-years into space!
- On a planet far, far away, a single pass around its sun may seem to last forever.
- Much like the lens on a camera, the intense gravity of a newfound white dwarf bends light. In this case, it is distorting light emitted by the star it orbits.