Shannon Hall

Contributing Writer

PHOTO: Sarah Hörst in her lab at JHU
Q&A

The Scientist Who Cooks Up the Skies of Faraway Worlds

April 8, 2019

Astronomers will soon take their first glance at the atmosphere of a distant exoplanet. Sarah Hörst is writing the guidebook for these exoplanetary explorers, one that will reveal what a distinctive atmosphere says about the world underneath.

Art for "Missing Galaxies? Now There’s Too Many"
astrophysics

Missing Galaxies? Now There’s Too Many

January 9, 2019

Astronomers couldn’t find enough satellite galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. Now they have the opposite problem.

Art for "Galactic Beacons Get Snuffed Out in a Cosmic Eyeblink"
astrophysics

Galactic Beacons Get Snuffed Out in a Cosmic Eyeblink

November 21, 2018

Quasars powered by supermassive black holes have been unexpectedly vanishing. Scientists have started to figure out why.

Rosaly Lopes above one of the lava lakes at Ambrym, an exceptionally active volcano in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
Q&A

To Understand Volcanoes on Other Worlds, Stand On Our Own

August 28, 2018

Rosaly Lopes has visited dozens of active volcanoes on Earth and discovered even more elsewhere in the solar system. Her work is helping to establish whether volcanoes on distant moons could create conditions friendly to life.

Illustration of a hanging mobile with "Planet 9" weighing down 2015 BP519's orbit, thus tilting it.
planetary science

A New World’s Extraordinary Orbit Points to Planet Nine

May 15, 2018

Astronomers argue that there’s an undiscovered giant planet far beyond the orbit of Neptune. A newly discovered rocky body has added evidence to the circumstantial case for it.

About the author

Shannon Hall is a freelance science journalist based in the Rocky Mountains. She has bachelor’s degrees in astrophysics and philosophy and master’s degrees in astrophysics and science reporting. Her work has appeared in Scientific AmericanThe New York Times, National Geographic, Nature, Discover, Sky & Telescope, New Scientist and other publications.