Nitric acid is the chemical name for HNO3(aq). This compound is composed of hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. The "aq" refers to the fact that the nitric acid is in a solution with water.
Nitric acid is available in two different concentrations - as red fuming nitric acid, which is an 86 percent solution and white fuming nitric acid, which is a 97.5 percent solution. Nitric acid solutions are clear and turn yellowish in the presence of light. It is a strong acid that dissolves many metals, and its fumes are toxic. It is also used to make several commercial products, such as fertilizers, dyes, plastics and explosives.