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At the center of each chlorophyll molecule sits one magnesium ion, a linchpin for photosynthesis. Our cells require magnesium for hundreds of enzymes and metabolic processes. Spawned from supernovae and scattered through interstellar dust, this life-giving alkaline earth metal readily reacts and is abundant in seawater and a host of minerals from dolomite to olivine.

Most things won't burn on Mars—after all, the main ingredient in the Martian atmosphere, carbon dioxide, is used in fire extinguishers on earth. So how would one create fire without oxygen? Use metal!This slow motion footage shows magnesium burning within a block of dry ice.