Butterfly wing, AFM

Butterfly wing, AFM

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This image is part of the feature Nature's Trick Of The Light
This image is part of the feature Small Is Beautiful

Credit: DIGITAL INSTRUMENTS/VEECO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Butterfly wing surface. Coloured atomic force micrograph (AFM) of the surface of a scale from the wing of a butterfly. The tiny holes in the scales diffract light, causing the colouration of the butterfly's wings. This specimen was from an orange tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines). Atomic force microscopy uses a thin probe to build up an image of a surface. The probe is moved over the surface, and is kept at a constant distance from it. The movements of the spring on which it is mounted as it adjusts to the surface are built up into a computer model. Magnification: x8500 at 6x6cm size.

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Keywords: afm, animal, anthocharis cardamines, atomic force micrograph, butterfly, coloured, diffraction, hole, holes, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, lattice, microscopy, nature, network, orange tip, scale, surface, wildlife, wing, zoology

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