|This element is now called Oganesson; the images and words on this page should be changed accordingly.|
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What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?
Oganesson doesn't exist in nature on Earth. Three atoms have been made so far by scientists in a laboratory. This isn't enough to see with the naked eye or even an optical microscope so we don't know what it looks like. What they do know is that it is very dangerous and radioactive, and that it is probably a gas at room temperature.
How was it discovered?
Oganesson was discovered in 2006 by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States, when they fused together Californium and Calcium, creating an element with an atomic number of 118 and an atomic weight of 294. Because it is so difficult to create Oganesson, the researchers had to shoot 25 million million million Calcium atoms at the Californium target before it was produced.
Where did its name come from?
The element was named after Dr. Yuri Oganessian, who is a Russian researcher at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, who has been at the facility for over fifty years. He lead the team that helped discover Flerovium, as well as the team that discovered Oganesson, so it was named after him.
He is one of only two people to have an element named after him while he was still alive, the other being Seaborgium, element number 106, after Glenn Seaborg.
Where is it found?
Oganesson doesn't occur naturally. If it did, it would be extremely radioactive and so quickly decay almost as soon as it was produced. Instead, it can only be found in laboratories.
What are its uses?
Because Oganesson is so radioactive and extremely difficult to produce, it has no practical uses. The only use it can have is for scientists to research it and improve their theories about atoms and elements.