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What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?
Cerium is a rare earth element (REE) group (in the Lanthanide series). It looks like a soft, silver-grey METAL and it’s very malleable. It tarnishes when exposed to air. It’s very reactive. It is also the most common element in the rare earth elements group.
How was it discovered and where?
Where did its name come from?
It was named after the asteroid Ceres which was discovered in 1801. A fun fact is the asteroid was discovered two years before the element “Cerium” was found out.
What are its uses?
Cerium can have two roles in being used:
1) Cerium oxide is used to make the glass shiny again.
2) Cerium metal is used for making ferrocerium lighters. Ferrocerium lighters have a flint spark lighter that produce a little spark after the fire has been lit.
Is it dangerous?
It is dangerous because it is highly reactive with water and produces hydrogen gas during the reaction. Also it will ignite if it is scratched with a sharp object, such as a knife. BUT it can be safe if used or mixed with other elements.