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Article changed over to new Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements format by maveric149. Elementbox converted 11:33, 14 July 2005 by Femto (previous revision was that of 19:00, 31 May 2005).

Information SourcesEdit

Some of the text in this entry was rewritten from Los Alamos National Laboratory - Iridium. Additional text was taken directly from the Elements database 20001107 (via, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (via and WordNet (r) 1.7 (via Data for the table were obtained from the sources listed on the subject page and Wikipedia:WikiProject Elements but were reformatted and converted into SI units.


Some said the Iridium satellites had to be destroyed as mandated by the Bankrupcy court. Who can verify if they were destroyed or adopted by DoD?

They were to be decommissioned (allowed to drop out of orbit and burn up - might have been impressive to see the "iridium flares") but the network was purchased by the DOD in mid-2001 I believe (someone needs to do the research). --Justfred

I know they were not destroyed, tho who got them escaped me. But i'm pretty sure the bankruptcy court gave no order remotely resembling that. The press accounts left me with no doubt that the supposed plan, not to let them "drop" but to intentionally order them to do so within a short time (days), was a bluff by the owners in trying to flush out some buyer that they imagined was willing to bid higher on them than when the potential buyers believed time was on their side. --Jerzy(t) 23:33, 2004 Mar 4 (UTC)

6 December 2002: Is there or isn't there a country called Iridium??? I am going through and editing all the country pages, and found 'Iridium' in my list of countries... can someone clarify this for me? - User:Mark Ryan

I've never heard of such a nation. Neither has (which has all CIA Factbook data in it). --Dan

It's in my current White Pages phone book in the international calling codes - apparently you dial 881 then 6 to phone that country. - User:Mark Ryan

OK, I just found out the answer. The international calling code 881 isn't reserved for a country called Iridium, it's for the satellite mobile network of the same name!!! lol I can't believe I didn't realise that right away. I feel stupid. - User:Mark Ryan


I think there's some confusion here. Iridium is actually used (along with osmium and platinum) for tipping fountain pen nibs, not to make ballpoint balls. (Error may have crept in from misinterpreting Los Alamos page.)

iridium windows?Edit

to protect radioactive sources? - Omegatron 22:38, Feb 4, 2005 (UTC)

Apparent typo on densityEdit

The density of this element is only slightly lower than that of osmium, which is generally considered to be the heaviest element known. However, calculations of density from the space lattice may produce more reliable data for these elements than actual measurements and give a density of 22650 kg/m³ for iridium versus 22661 kg/m³ for osmium. Definitive selection between the two is therefore not possible at this time.

This paragraph doesn't exactly make sense. It reads as if there's some uncertainty, but it seems to say that osmium is denser both experimentally and theoretically.

Yet density of Osmium given at Osmium as well as at Web Elements is 22.61 x 10^3 kg/m^-3, (not 22661) meaning that the wiki has a typo (which was apparently carried over from a typo at Los Alamos National Labs. Moreover, unless someone has a better source, it doesn't look like the actual precision of the calculation goes to the nearest kg/m^-3.

So that's why I'm editing the page. (I was just looking for some pretty pictures of the rainbow colors, man. Where's the party?)

--Munge 05:54, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In addition, 22,650 kg per cubic meter is inconsistent with the value of 22.42  g·cm−3 given in the tabular summary for iridium.

--LexCon 14:17, 8 Nov 2007 (ET)

--TrinaLovesInfo 14:05, 7 Dec 2014 (CST)

There's a continuing contradiction in the story re. the relative densities of the two elements. They're the ones referenced with 3 and 9. I use Wikipedia a lot but have never edited, & am more a copy editor than a science person, so I'll leave this to someone with more expertise to address it.

Iridium radioactivity scare in VenezuelaEdit


"Iris" in Greek refers to the rainbow itself, as well as (and before) referring to the personifying goddess. I see no support for the idea that Tennant named the element after the goddess or would have had the goddess in mind when he named it. Most educated people in that time and place would have had enough Greek vocabulary to simply name it after the rainbow itself. In Tennant's original paper, he writes:

As it is necessary to give some name to bodies which have not been known before, and most convenient to indicate it by some characteristic property, I should incline to call this metal Iridium, from the striking variety of colours which it gives, while dissolving in marine acid.

Certainly emphasizing the goddess to the point of having a picture is excessive enough to be misleading. I would suggest dropping the picture, and changing the text to "coined the name 'Iridium' from the Greek word 'iris', which refers both to the rainbow and to its personifying goddess".

The Iridium layer, dinosaurs, and isotopes.Edit

When I was at high school, in the early 1970s, we learnt that the supporting evidence for the extra terrestrial nature of the Iridium layer was not the presence of Iridium per se, but that it had a different isotopic composition to terrestrial Iridium. Is that theory still flying? Or is it no longer held? In fact was it never held and my teacher was incorrect?

Return to "Iridium" page.