On This Day…

PrestonLodge.net is taking a leaf out of Google’s book! We too will be changing our logo to suit various holidays and events throughout the year – an “On This Day in History”, event and seasonal approach.

So, to start us off, we have Monday 18th August – Helium was first discovered.

On this day in 1868 (140 years ago today), the French astronomer Pierre Janssen, whilst observing a solar eclipse in India, noticed an unknown bright yellow spectral line signature in the light from the sun. This yellow line had never been seen before, so Pierre’s conclusion was that he had discovered a new element – Helium. He was unfortunately ridiculed since no other element had ever been detected in space before being found on Earth – which makes his discovery even more impressive, and the first element to be found this way.

Quick Facts: Helium

– colourless, odourless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert monatomic chemical element that heads the noble gas series in the periodic table and whose atomic number is 2

– Helium is the second lightest element and is the second most abundant in the observable Universe. Most helium was formed during the Big Bang, but new helium is being created as a result of the nuclear fusion of hydrogen in stars

– Helium is named after the Greek word for the Sun – helios (?????)

For more “On This Day” for Monday 18th August from History.com, click here.

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