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Sample of the element calcium (Ca) rotating. Calcium has the atomic number 20, and is a soft, reactive alkaline earth metal. Due to its reactivity it tarnishes rapidly on exposure to atmospheric moisture and oxygen. The dark grey colour of this sample is a layer of oxidised metal. It burns with a bright orange-red flame when heated in air. It has a melting point of 842 degrees Celsius. Its ions are vital for cellular function and its compounds are a major structural component of bones, shells and other animal structures.
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