Trivia

Hard

Which Chemical Element Is Named After The Sun?

Magnesium
Hydrogen
Phosphorus
Helium
A photo of plasma connecting regions of different magnetic polarity on the Sun.
Hinode, JAXA, NASA/Wikimedia

Answer: Helium

The first scientific observation of the first noble gas, Helium, was in 1868 when it was detected as a bright yellow line during a spectroscopic observation of the Sun (during a total solar eclipse) conducted by French astronomer Jules Janssen. Although Janssen noted it, the line was believed to be representative of the element sodium.

It wasn’t until later in the same year that English astronomer Norman Lockyer observed the same spectrum line—he also made note of it and named it the D3 Fraunhofer line (Fraunhofer was a German physicist after which the dark bands separating the spectral colors were named). He named it such because it was near the known lines D1 and D2, found in sodium. He concluded that it was actually a previously unobserved element that was unknown on Earth and only found in stars like the Sun.

In a nod to Greek mythology, Lockyer and the English chemist Edward Frankland named the element Helium, derived from the name of the Greek god of the Sun—Helios.

Trivia

Very Hard

The Traditional Yellow Color Of American Pencils Is A Nod To?

Trivia

Very Hard

Fake Money Used In Which Movie Was So Realistic It Led To A Real Counterfeiting Investigation?

Trivia

Easy

A Deadly Wave Of What Swept Through Boston In 1919?

Trivia

Hard

The “Armstrong Limit” Is A Measurement Of The Maximum Amount Of What A Human Can Edure?

Trivia

Hard

Which Insect Is The Longest Lived?

Trivia

Hard

Which Harry Potter Actor Was Told A Vital Piece Of Information About The Series Plot Before Filming The First Film?

Trivia

Easy

Which Of These Animals Was Originally Known As The “River Horse”?

Trivia

Very Hard

What Is The Oldest Manmade Object In Earth Orbit?

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Franchise Features A Character Created By Debug Code?

Trivia

Hard

An Episode Of What TV Show Sent Hundreds Of Children To The Hospital?