Nikk Ogasa is a staff writer who focuses on the physical sciences for Science News, based in Brooklyn, New York. He has a master's degree in geology from McGill University, where he studied how ancient earthquakes helped form large gold deposits. He earned another master's degree in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His stories have been published in ScienceScientific American, Mongabay and the Mercury News, and he was the summer 2021 science writing intern at Science News.

All Stories by Nikk Ogasa

  1. image of a lightning strike above a wildfire in Wenatchee, Washington

    An incendiary form of lightning may surge under climate change

    Relatively long-lived lightning strikes are the most likely to spark wildfires and may become more common as the climate warms.

  2. An opaque photo of a wildfire overtop an opaque satellite image of Africa.

    Climate ‘teleconnections’ may link droughts and fires across continents

    Far-reaching climate patterns like the El Niño-Southern Oscillation may synchronize droughts and regulate scorching of much of Earth’s burned area.

  3. An illustration of a large, predatory fish known as coelacanths and eel-like conodonts swimming in the ocean.

    In the wake of history’s deadliest mass extinction, ocean life may have flourished

    Ocean life may have recovered in just a million years after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, fossils from South China suggest.

  4. A rendering of the Earth with a quarter section removed to show the inner workings of the core.

    Earth’s inner core may be reversing its rotation

    In the past 13 years, the rotation of the planet’s solid inner core may have temporarily stopped and then started to reverse direction.

  5. A satellite view of an arctic cyclone taken in August 2012.

    Cyclones in the Arctic are becoming more intense and frequent

    Over the last 70 years, boreal storms have steadily grown stronger. And climate change may make them worse, threatening both people and sea ice.

  6. A photo of China's maglev train as it comes into a station with several people standing at balcony of a nearby platform.

    How rare earth elements’ hidden properties make modern technology possible

    Because of their unique chemistry, the rare earth elements can fine-tune light for many different purposes and generate powerful magnetic fields.

  7. image of pink dots representing Gamma Rays passing through Earth's atmosphere

    Rare ‘dark lightning’ might briefly touch passengers when flying

    Gamma-ray blasts from thunderstorms might occasionally zap passing airplanes, briefly exposing passengers to unsafe levels of radiation.

  8. A volcano erupts (blue) on Jupiter’s innermost moon, Io, in this picture from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft.

    Io may have an underworld magma ocean or a hot metal heart

    New calculations support dueling ideas for what powers the ubiquitous volcanoes on the hellish surface of Jupiter’s innermost moon.

  9. Enceladus, the moon of Saturn, shown partly illuminated against the backdrop of space
    Planetary Science

    The last vital ingredient for life has been discovered on Enceladus

    The underground ocean on Saturn’s icy moon may contain phosphorus in concentrations thousands of times greater than those found in Earth’s ocean.

  10. A photo of President Joe Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act into law with a group of four men and one women standing around him.

    2022’s biggest climate change bill pushes clean energy

    Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of the United States’ first major climate change legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act, signed this year.

  11. Physics

    50 years ago, physicists found the speed of light

    In the 1970s, scientists set a new maximum speed limit for light. Fifty years later, they continue putting light through its paces.

  12. A photo of a variety of zinc snowflake shapes crystallized in liquid gallium.

    How to make tiny metal snowflakes

    In a pool of molten gallium, researchers grew symmetrical, hexagonal zinc nanostructures that resemble natural snowflakes.