Some interesting hydrogen facts for kids include that it is the most common element found throughout the universe, where it is often found in stars and gas planets, such as Jupiter. Hydrogen is one of the two elements, along with oxygen, that composes water.
Hydrogen was officially discovered in 1766 by Henry Cavendish, but was not given its name until 1783. Its name is based on the Greek prefix hydro-, which means water. Hydrogen gas has no smell, taste or color. Hydrogen is represented by the letter H in chemistry. It is the first element listed on the periodic table, which means that it has an atomic number of one and contains one proton in the nucleus of a hydrogen atom.
When it's in its gaseous state, it is represented by the formula H2, which means that two hydrogen atoms are combined, or bonded, together.
Zeppelins, early machines for air travel, used helium to rise, similar to helium balloons. Hydrogen gas was responsible for the Hindenburg disaster in 1936, because its high flammability caused the craft to catch fire. Hydrogen is an important component of petroleum fuel used to power cars. It is also used in rocket fuels as a liquid.