FlipFact of the Day: The element gallium (Ga) is mainly used in electronic circuits, semiconductors, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), as well as high-temperature thermometers, barometers, pharmaceuticals, and nuclear medicine tests.
If you leave this soft, silvery metal on top of your table and keep the place at room temperature, it’ll stay solid. However, if you pick it up and hold it in your hands long enough, it will melt in your palm! That’s because gallium has an unusually low melting point: 85.57°F (or 29.76°C). That means that human body heat (typically at 98.6°F, or 37°C) is enough to melt it.
Oh, and unlike mercury, it’s safe to play with — as long as you don’t ingest it, of course. This metal melts in your hand—and has absolutely no business being in your mouth.
Today’s Science History Milestone: On August 25, 2012, the spacecraft Voyager 1 became the first man-made object to enter interstellar space (the physical space in our galaxy beyond the sun’s influence, or heliopause). At the time, it was about 11 billion miles away from the sun.
Still remember your 5th-grade science classes? Test your knowledge and see if you still remember these facts and fundamental concepts in human anatomy, biology, botany, and other branches of science. Click here to try the “Are You Smarter Than A Pinoy Fifth-Grader” Challenge.
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Author: Mikael Angelo Francisco
Bitten by the science writing bug, Mikael has years of writing and editorial experience under his belt. As the editor-in-chief of FlipScience, Mikael has sworn to help make science more fun and interesting for geeky readers and casual audiences alike.