Neon is a chemical element with symbol Ne and atomic number 10. Neon is a colorless, odorless, inert monatomic gas under standard conditions, with about two-thirds the density of air. It was discovered in 1898 by the British chemists Sir William Ramsay (1852–1916) and Morris W. Travers (1872–1961) in London, England as one of the three residual rare inert elements remaining in dry air, after nitrogen, oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide are removed. The name neon is derived from the Greek word, νέον, neuter singular form of νέος [neos], meaning new. During cosmic nucleogenesis of the elements, large amounts of neon are built up from the alpha-capture fusion process in stars.
Although neon is a very common element in the universe and solar system (it is fifth in cosmic abundance after hydrogen, helium, oxygen and carbon), it is very rare on Earth. The reason for neon's relative scarcity on Earth, is that neon forms no compounds to fix it to solids, and is highly volatile, therefore escaping from the planetesimals under the warmth of the newly ignited Sun in the early Solar System. Even the atmosphere of Jupiter is somewhat depleted of neon, presumably for this reason. Neon gives a distinct reddish-orange glow when put in a magnetic field. It is commercially extracted by the fractional distillation of liquid air. It is considerably more expensive than helium, since air is its only source.