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A simple way to verify the magnesium hypothesis was to file away a small pile of dust from the mid-plane frame and...well...light it on fire.
When you add a little heat in the presence of magnesium and the air we breathe, magnesium oxide and a little bit of magnesium nitride are formed. Byproducts of this reaction are very intense heat and extremely bright light.
Yup, looks like it's magnesium.
But why magnesium? If you take a look at your old pal, the Periodic Table, it is one of the lightest metals - more so than even aluminum. Additionally, its high strength makes it ideal for providing structural support where weight is a major concern.
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