Countless periodic table posters are now obsolete. Meet the elements nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts) and oganesson (Og). On November 28, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry gave its seal of approval to the names proposed for the four elements, which take slots 113, 115, 117 and 118 on the periodic table. Unwieldy placeholder names — ununtrium, ununpentium, ununseptium and ununoctium, assigned when the elements were added to the table in December 2015 — can now be scrubbed.
The new names, proposed in June, underwent five months of public comment and review. Three of the elements were named for the places they were discovered. The name of element 113, nihonium, comes from “Nihon,” a Japanese word for the country of Japan. Element 115 is dubbed “moscovium” after Moscow. And 117, tennessine, is named for Tennessee. Element 118, oganesson, honors physicist Yuri Oganessian.