Stephen Ornes

Freelance Writer

Stephen Ornes has been writing for Science News Explores since 2008, and his 2014 story "Where Will Lightning Strike?" won an AAAS/Kavli Gold Award. He lives in Nashville, Tenn., and he has three children, who are inventing their own language. His family has a cat, six chickens, and two rabbits, but he secretly thinks hagfish are the most fascinating animals. Stephen has written two books. One is a biography of mathematician Sophie Germain, who was born during the French Revolution. The other, which was published in 2019, features art inspired by math. Visit him online at

All Stories by Stephen Ornes

  1. Physics

    Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen

    Our galaxy is heavier and spinning much faster than scientists thought.

  2. Space

    Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth

    A collision of extraterrestrial objects and Earth’s ancient oceans could have produced raw materials for life.

  3. Tech

    Graphene’s superstrength

    Scientists believe that graphene may change the world of electronics.

  4. Space

    Speedy stars

    A gang of stars on the edge of our galaxy is running away.

  5. Tech

    Music of the Future

    Scientists create new technologies that can make any surface — from a desk to a wall — sing.

  6. Space

    The solar system’s biggest junkyard

    The science of tracking millions of pieces of garbage that orbit Earth is tricky and essential.

  7. Physics

    Explainer: The particle zoo

    Various subatomic particle types are compared to how they oddly relate to animals in a zoo.

  8. Physics

    IceCube science

    To find some of the smallest things in the universe, scientists have to think big.

  9. Space

    Slip-sliding away

    The surface of one of Jupiter’s moons shifts position.