Oxygen is the gas that has eight protons and eight neutrons. Oxygen also has eight electrons and an atomic number of eight. The melting point of the element is -218.79 degrees Celsius, and the boiling point is -182.95 degrees Celsius.
Joseph Priestley of England and Carl W. Scheele of Sweden discovered this odorless and colorless gas in 1774 and 1772, respectively. Both men made the discovery independently when they produced oxygen by heating compounds like mercuric oxide.
Oxygen is an abundant element in the earth’s atmosphere and in the earth’s crust. It is also a plentiful element in the sun. Besides being essential to human and animal life, oxygen has many practical applications, including rocket propulsion, steel production and the manufacture of glass products.