Strontium is a chemical element with the symbol Sr and the atomic number 38. An alkaline earth metal, strontium is a soft silver-white or yellowish metallic element that is highly reactive chemically. The metal turns yellow when exposed to air. It occurs naturally in the minerals celestine and strontianite. The 90Sr isotope is present in radioactive fallout and has a half-life of 28.90 years. Both strontium and strontianite are named after Strontian, a village in Scotland near which the mineral was first discovered.
What the mineral Strontium looks like.
Strontium is a grey, silvery metal that is softer than calcium and even more reactive in water, with which it reacts on contact to produce strontium hydroxide and hydrogen gas. It burns in air to produce both strontium oxide and strontium nitride, but since it does not react with nitrogen below 380 °C, at room temperature it will only form the oxide spontaneously.
Because of its extreme reactivity with oxygen and water, this element occurs naturally only in compounds with other elements, such as in the minerals strontianite and celestite. It is kept under a liquid hydrocarbon such as mineral oil or kerosene to prevent oxidation; freshly exposed strontium metal rapidly turns a yellowish color with the formation of the oxide. Finely powdered strontium metal will ignite spontaneously in air at room temperature. Volatile strontium salts impart a crimson color to flames, and these salts are used in pyrotechnics and in the production of flares. Natural strontium is a mixture of four stable isotopes.
Check out this interactive Periodic Table.
Check out this Strontium video. Prepared by The University of Nottingham.