Related topics: soil · climate change · carbon dioxide · plants · hydrogen

Measuring nitrogen in green manures

Both chemical fertilizers and cover crops can help build the nitrogen content in soil. But cover crops come with many other benefits, like improving soil structure and boosting beneficial microbes.

Jupiter mission passes space vacuum test

ESA's Juice mission to Jupiter has successfully endured a month of space-like conditions inside the Large Space Simulator, the largest vacuum chamber in Europe.

Balancing nitrogen for sunflowers

Sunflowers have many uses. They are used for floral arrangements, animal feed, biofuels, and even food for us.

Scientists analyze how the pandemic affected air quality

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live, and several studies have documented how those widespread changes in human behavior have impacted the environment. NASA scientists and others using data from NASA and our ...

Capturing electrons in space

Interstellar clouds are the birthplaces of new stars, but they also play an important role in the origins of life in the Universe through regions of dust and gas in which chemical compounds form. The research group, molecular ...

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Nitrogen

Nitrogen (pronounced /ˈnaɪtrədʒɨn/) is a chemical element that has the symbol N and atomic number 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78% by volume of Earth's atmosphere.

Many industrially important compounds, such as ammonia, nitric acid, organic nitrates (propellants and explosives), and cyanides, contain nitrogen. The extremely strong bond in elemental nitrogen dominates nitrogen chemistry, causing difficulty for both organisms and industry in converting the N2 into useful compounds, and releasing large amounts of energy when these compounds burn or decay back into nitrogen gas.

The element nitrogen was discovered by Daniel Rutherford, a Scottish physician, in 1772. Nitrogen occurs in all living organisms. It is a constituent element of amino acids and thus of proteins, and of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). It resides in the chemical structure of almost all neurotransmitters, and is a defining component of alkaloids, biological molecules produced by many organisms.

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