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Twinkling colored lights of ? (magnetic viewing film)
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:37 pm    Post subject: Twinkling colored lights of ? (magnetic viewing film) Reply with quote

Merry Christmas! Thought I'd contribute a bit of puzzle here. Very Happy

The image is animated, 6 different frames, but I saw very much the same thing in real time.



Here's a closer view, short focus stack of 7 frames at 20X on sensor, 10 micron step.



Any guesses about what this is? Very Happy

--Rik

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Last edited by rjlittlefield on Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:24 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Franz Neidl



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I try to guess: This are plant cells in polarized light. Maybe the outer skin from an onion?

Franz
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This are plant cells in polarized light. Maybe the outer skin from an onion?

I will have to try that. It sounds interesting!

But the guess is not correct -- no polarized light was used in making this picture.

--Rik
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DQE



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely aliens and UFOs involved! I figure that the skin of the alien does this sort of thing, but I'm surprised it let you photograph it under a microscope!!

The Pacific Northwest must have a lot of aliens, etc...

(insert friendly grins here)

----------------
I read somewhere that a significant fraction of the US population believes that they have been abducted by aliens at some time in their lives. Here is a Wikipedia entry on the subject:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_abduction_claimants
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Definitely aliens and UFOs involved! I figure that the skin of the alien does this sort of thing, but I'm surprised it let you photograph it under a microscope!!

The Pacific Northwest must have a lot of aliens, etc...

Indeed the Pacific Northwest has many aliens --- and I have photographed several kinds under microscopes! (Noctua pronuba and Taraxacum officinale come to mind. Wink )

But this is not an alien.

More clues...

The festive appearance comes from colored lights. In ordinary white illumination, the subject appears in various shades of green, like this:



I'm sure the idea of moving lights will come to mind. But to stave off that one, I'll also volunteer that the lights were fixed in place and brightness, and the subject was firmly clamped to the microscope stage, which likewise did not move.

How can this be?? Question

--Rik
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Cactusdave



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This second shot looks like lichen or a mixed lichen/algae community on tree bark. Not sure how that correlates with the high power image though. I seem to see small refractile globules suspended at different levels in some kind of matrix there.
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Mitch640



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some kind of christmas cookie?
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bubbles in your festive Crème de Menthe?
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The subject is a manufactured product, distinctly not edible.

There is a liquid involved, but you'd never notice it except under the microscope!

--Rik
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Charles Krebs



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really lost on this one (and the one Pau put up earlier).

Some sort of supple vinyl material?
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gpmatthews



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It suggests to me that the liquid may be a liquid crystal...
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Charles Krebs



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

E-ink?
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The material is somewhat flexible, but certainly not supple.

There are no liquid crystals or electronic ink involved here.

However, like some liquid crystals and e-ink, this material does change its appearance based on sensing its environment. This feature has applications in science, engineering, and entertainment.

As seen by the naked eye, the material often displays one or another distinctive pattern of blotches or stripes. Here are some common examples:



Here is a slightly closer view, such as you might see with a magnifying glass.



Prompting any ideas yet? Very Happy

--Rik
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hhmm, I wasn't expecting this puzzle to be quite so daunting!

So here's another clue. I hope this one is really strong.

Shown here is the environment, the subject material as it responds to that environment, and a Photoshop overlay of the two.



Anything now?

--Rik
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Pau
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A magnetic fluid?
There is some kind of magnetic fluid used in scientific toys, I thin it's opaque, but never saw it so close Question
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