Posts by 

Christopher Crockett

Why does the sun shine?

The sun generates about 400 billion billion megawatts of power and it has done so for five billion years. Nuclear fusion - combining lighter atoms to make heavier one - is what makes it possible.

What is a black hole?

Black holes are the remnants of very massive stars with gravity so strong that not even light can escape.

Elliptical galaxy has spiral arms

An elliptical galaxy has spiral arms within it. The spiral arms formed shortly after a collision with another galaxy several hundred million years ago.

Apogalacticon: What is it?

The apogalacticon marks where the sun is farthest from the heart of the Milky Way on its 250 million year orbit around the galactic center.

X-rays reveal the violent side of the universe

In astronomy, X-rays look at interstellar gas heated to millions of degrees around extreme environments like black holes, neutron stars, and colliding galaxies.

VLBI reveals the universe in amazing detail

Very Long Baseline Interferometry, or VLBI, links together widely separated radio telescopes to allow astronomers to see the universe in more detail than ever.

Colliding galaxies become hotbeds of star formation

These Ultra Luminous InfraRed Galaxies emit a trillion suns worth of infrared light, driven by bursts of star formation in colliding galaxies.

Sidereal time: What is it?

Sidereal time measures the rotation of our planet relative to the stars. It allows astronomers to keep time without worrying about the motion of Earth around the sun. 

Dawn spacecraft reveals landscapes of Vesta

Findings from the Dawn spacecraft reveal enormous impact craters and diverse mineralogy on the asteroid Vesta, the second largest object in the asteroid belt.

New planet found in distant solar system by its tug on another world

Using the same technique that led to Neptune's discovery in 1846, astronomers have found a new planet by observing its pull on a neighboring world.