Iridium is the chemical element with symbol Ir and atomic number 77. A very hard, brittle, silvery-white transition metal of the platinum family. Iridium is the second-densest element (after osmium) and is the most corrosion-resistant metal, even at temperatures as high as 2000 °C. Although only certain molten salts and halogens are corrosive to solid iridium, finely divided iridium dust is much more reactive and can be flammable.
Iridium was discovered in 1803 among insoluble impurities in natural platinum. Smithson Tennant, the primary discoverer, named the iridium for the Greek goddess Iris, personification of the rainbow, because of the striking and diverse colors of its salts. Iridium is one of the rarest elements in the Earth’s crust, with annual production and consumption of only three tonnes. 191Ir and 193Ir are the only two naturally occurring isotopes of iridium as well as the only stable isotopes; the latter is the more abundant of the two.
2. Rice Puller:
Tests for rice pulling
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NASA wants to create a robotic gas station in space.
While that might call to mind visions of interstellar starships, the unmanned depot won’t actually be used to refuel rockets leading to the outer solar system or other worlds. Instead, it will service satellites orbiting Earth.
The Curiosity rover (or Mars Science Laboratory, as NASA works call it) has been an immensely successful mission so far. Though it landed on Mars less than two years ago, the SUV-sized rover has detected evidence that the Red Planet was once warm and flowing with drinkable water, suggesting it may have been able to support life in its past—and according to some scientists, it may still today.
When Kira Walker was born, on June 13, 2013, her parents and doctors knew she might have health issues. Her mother, a recovering heroin addict, had taken methadone to manage her addiction throughout the pregnancy. Kira was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, where she was born, so that doctors could watch for withdrawal symptoms. That’s why they happened to notice she had a different and equally serious problem: abnormally low blood sugar.
Bigfoot is a creature of many names — Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest, Yeti in the Himalayas, “wild man” in Central Asia, and (my favorite) “Yowie” in Australia — but science knows it as acryptid: a type of animal whose existence hasn’t been proven.
The next rover NASA will send to Mars in 2020 will carry seven carefully-selected instruments to conduct unprecedented science and exploration technology investigations on the Red Planet.
Less than a week before Rosetta’s rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, images obtained by OSIRIS, the spacecraft’s onboard scientific imaging system, show clear signs of a coma surrounding the comet’s nucleus.
The recent news of an anthrax containment breach at the CDC was startling to say the least. While the risk of infection was low to nil, the news revealed the weakness of even our strongest containment systems.
People’s teeth and bamboo stalks may not seem very durable compared to bars of steel. But, a new series of experiments finds, making metals mimic those materials could improve metals’ endurance and strength.
You’ll hear an irregular succession of snaps or pops. Each little zap represents a lightning strike occurring somewhere in the land you see on the map.
In 2008, Cameron Smith, an anthropology professor at Portland State University in Oregon, decided to build a space suit. He designed the Mark I to protect himself on a high-altitude balloon ride, and so far it’s passed tests in a hypobaric chamber and underwater.
Sure, manufacturing companies have 3-D printers that are able to weld metal pieces. You can even send designs to Shapeways to get them printed in steel.
Don’t let NASA monopolize robotic exploration of the solar system. Using a couple of gear motors, solar panels, and leftover LEGOs, you can build a sunshine-powered robot that ambles around a strange landscape: your backyard. Obstacles such as rocks and curious children can’t be avoided, since there’s no software or sensors to control the steering, but this project is a fun introduction to solar-powered electronics.