Oxygen is the chemical element with the symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a highly reactive nonmetal, and an oxidizing agent that readily forms oxides with most elements as well as with other compounds. After hydrogen and helium, oxygen is the third-most abundant element in the universe by mass. At standard temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dioxygen, a colorless and odorless diatomic gas with the formula O2.
Oxygen was isolated by Michael Sendivogius before 1604, but it is commonly believed that the element was discovered independently by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, in Uppsala, in 1773 or earlier, and Joseph Priestley in Wiltshire, in 1774.
An application of O2 as a low-pressure breathing gas is in modern space suits, which surround their occupant's body with the breathing gas. These devices use nearly pure oxygen at about one-third normal pressure, resulting in a normal blood partial pressure of O2. This trade-off of higher oxygen concentration for lower pressure is needed to maintain suit flexibility.