Niobium is a shiny, grayish metallic element. It was discovered in 1801 by Heinrich Rose. Its original name was columbium. This name is still used often in talking about its minerals.
   It was recently discovered that niobium would withstand very high temperatures. It melts at 1950 °C. It now promises to be important in high temperature alloys and stainless steel for airplanes and rockets.
   Niobium (symbol Nb), element number 41, has atomic weight 92.906 (92.91, O=16).