Trivia

Hard

Which Chemical Element Is Named After The Sun?

Hydrogen
Phosphorus
Helium
Magnesium
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

Hard

Which State Has The Same Plant As Its Official Fruit And Vegetable?

Trivia

Easy

The Nearest Major Galaxy To Ours, The Milky Way, Is The?

Trivia

Easy

The First Feature Film To Employ Stereo Sound Was?

Trivia

Hard

What Brand Of Cigarettes Did The X-Files’ Smoking Man Smoke?

Trivia

Easy

Which Pizza-Sized Movie Format Failed to Win Over Consumers?

Trivia

Hard

Stephen King’s “The Shining” Was Inspired By Which Of These Real Life Hotels?

Trivia

Hard

The Term “Cliffhanger”, To Refer To A Suspenseful But Unresolved Ending Originated With?

Trivia

Easy

What Sports Equipment Was Left Behind On The Moon?

Trivia

Hard

Which Cologne Do Scientists Use To Attract Wild Cats?

Trivia

Easy

Lewis And Clark Expected To Find What Animal On Their Journey West?