IYL 2015 Images

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    Volvox

    An optical microscope (also called a "light microscope") uses visible light and a system of lenses to magnify images of very small samples. In this image from an optical microscope, a special technique known as "differential interference contrast" that uses differences in the amount of bending of light by components of the specimen to enhance otherwise undetectable features of these volvox. Volvox are small, colonial green algae that make up a larger spherical colony. The bright green sphere within the colony is a daughter colony, a secondary colony growing on the surface of an older one.
    Image Credit: Frank Fox, www.mikro-foto.de
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html

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    Levisticum

    If you come across levisticum in a garden, you will find a tall plant with dark green leaves and greenish-yellow flowers. Under a microscope, however, it looks much different. Here polarized light is used to bring out the details of this plant on the microscopic level. Polarization is used for many things, including sunglasses. This type of sunglasses blocks most light oriented in a horizontal direction (which often happens when light is reflected from a flat road or smooth water). Under a microscope, polarized light can help us see more by bringing out the contrast between structures and other details otherwise difficult to see in unpolarized light.
    Image Credit: Marek Mís
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html

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    Polarized Photomicrograph

    When you start looking on different scales, things can appear in a whole new light. Take, for example, this photomicrograph of a recrystalized mixture of anti-mucus medication and sodium citrate. A photomicrograph is simply an image that has been taken using a camera attached to a microscope. This particular photomicrograph was taken in polarized light. Typically, light waves vibrate in all different directions. When light is restricted to vibrating in just one plane, it is called "polarization" and this phenomenon can enhance certain features in such photomicrographs.
    Image Credit: Marek Mís
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html

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    Blue Skies, Guanajuato, Mexico

    Our clear skies on Earth are blue because the atoms and molecules in the planet's atmosphere scatter the blue part of sunlight the most, making it appear as if it is coming from all directions. The face of the Moon is visible too because of light from the Sun. As sunlight strikes the lunar surface, it is reflected, making this otherwise dark world visible from Earth. The phases of the Moon change throughout the month depending on how much of the lunar disk is illuminated by the Sun.
    Image Credit: © Tomas Castelazo | http://www.tomascastelazo.com/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0
    view and download image here. http://lightexhibit.org/photoindex.html