Joshua Sokol

Contributing Correspondent

Abstractions blog

A Close Look at Newborn Planets Reveals Hints of Infant Moons

Astronomers have discovered a complex planetary system still swirling into existence.

Animated line drawing of Margaret Hamilton, Ellen Fetter, and a Lorenz attractor
chaos theory

The Hidden Heroines of Chaos

The story of the birth of chaos theory has left out two programming pioneers.

Art for "Black, Hot Ice, Newly Seen in the Lab, May Be Nature's Commonest Form of Water"
chemistry

Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature’s Most Common Form of Water

A new experiment confirms the existence of “superionic ice,” a bizarre form of water that might comprise the bulk of giant icy planets throughout the universe.

Photo lede for "With a Second Repeating Radio Burst, Astronomers Close In on an Explanation"
astrophysics

With a Second Repeating Radio Burst, Astronomers Close In on an Explanation

Brief cosmic blips called fast radio bursts have puzzled astronomers since their discovery earlier this decade. Now researchers appear to be close to understanding what powers them.

planetary science

Asteroid Rate Jumped in Solar System’s Past

An analysis of lunar craters has found that we’ve been living in a relatively violent period in cosmic history.

geophysics

A Universal Law for the ‘Blood of the Earth’

Simple physical principles can be used to describe how rivers grow everywhere from Florida to Mars.

astrophysics

Astronomers Creep Up to the Edge of the Milky Way’s Black Hole

Hot spots have been discovered orbiting just outside the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center. Their motions have given us the closest look at that violent environment.

Art for "Star-Swallowing Black Holes Burp Out Their Secrets"
astrophysics

Star-Swallowing Black Holes Reveal Secrets in Exotic Light Shows

Black holes occasionally reveal themselves when passing stars get ripped apart by their gravity. These tidal disruption events have created a new way for astronomers to map the hidden cosmos.

Photo of Jupiter for "Mathematicians Tame Turbulence in Flattened Fluids"
fluid dynamics

Mathematicians Tame Turbulence in Flattened Fluids

By squeezing fluids into flat sheets, researchers can get a handle on the strange ways that turbulence feeds energy into a system instead of eating it away.

About the author

Joshua Sokol is a freelance science journalist in Boston. His work has appeared in New Scientist, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. He has a bachelor’s degree in astronomy and in English literature from Swarthmore College, and a master’s degree in science writing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In between, he worked as a data analyst for the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys.