I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you must know that really creepy creatures live on your skin. As we’ve seen, we’re more bacteria than we are ourselves, probably also a stupidity virus somewhere in there, there are also other macroscopic creatures which live ON you. You don’t have to know these exist, because it may ruin the rest of your life for you. You can never get rid of them. So leave if you think you should.
Praseodymium is a chemical element with symbol Pr and atomic number 59. Most have never heard of it. But it is something that’s essential for glass blowers to work their magic. It seems odd to link praseodymium to the art of glass making. However, a strong link exists and here is how it works.
Praseodymium and neodymium (the element used to make really strong magnets) come together in glass to give it a kind of amazing property. These elements when incorporated into glass, gives it a typical green-blue colour, which is used by a glass-blower to see through the yellow sodium flame.
Well, the yellow flame of sodium comes from the sodium that is present in soda glass. And when it is being worked with a hot torch, it vaporizes sodium and makes a bright yellow flame which conceals the details on the soft glass. These have to be seen to be worked properly.
These glasses just block out the yellow light from the sodium and gives the glass-blower a sort of super human ability to see through the flame. What enables these glasses to do block out the yellow is a lot more complex physics. For now, that’s the story of an unheard element, which deserves to be known. An unsung hero element – praseodymium.
Ever wondered why we don’t have solar eclipses every month, given the moon makes a full circle of earth in a month? Shouldn’t there be an eclipse every month at least at one place on earth? And the same goes for lunar eclipses too. That’s because the orbit of moon is slightly tilted, at about 5 degrees. And that’s pretty huge when it comes to big distances of the space.
Also, by some bizarre coincidence, a moon 400 times smaller than the sun is also 400 times closer to earth than the sun. That crazy coincidence gives it the ability to block out the sun’s light during a full solar eclipse, even when it is much smaller than the object it is blocking. Like your thumbnail, smaller than the sun, but much closer than it can block the sun’s light.
But the moon isn’t at the same distance from earth all the time. So, when it is far, you get these annular solar eclipses, which block the suns inner part, and you still can see a ring of brilliant light.
And since the moon is slowly going away, about 600 million years from now, there’ll be only annular solar eclipses. Of course we won’t be around to miss the complete solar eclipses.