Beauty of tiny bits of moon under the microscope-Xinhua

The micrograph taken in July 2022 reveals the crossed polarized mild picture of the skinny part of a basalt lunar soil particle. (Institute of Geology and Geophysics, CAS/Handout by way of Xinhua)

BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Instead of trying on the moon via a telescope, some received the possibility to watch it extra carefully via a microscope.

An artwork exhibition presenting the theme — lunar soil scientific analysis achievement — was unveiled within the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing on Saturday, this yr’s Mid-Autumn Festival.

By technique of microphotography, picture fusion and processing, three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction and digital actuality (VR) know-how, the exhibition reveals over 100 pictures and movies of lunar soil particles to the general public.

The soil photographed was among the many 1,731 grams of lunar samples retrieved from the moon’s floor by Chang’e-5.

This photograph taken in April 2022 reveals a cross-sectional backscattered electron picture of the glass lunar soil particle. (Institute of Geology and Geophysics, CAS/Handout by way of Xinhua)


“The size of the lunar soil particles is finer than a hair, so it cannot be observed at all without the help of advanced microscopic equipment,” mentioned Yang Wei, a researcher on the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

As one of many few individuals who get entry to the lunar soil, Yang was attracted by its magnificence whereas doing scientific analysis. “But it was impossible for everyone to come to the lab to see it,” he mentioned. So he determined to {photograph} the lunar soil for the general public.

It was fairly a difficult venture. The particles are so small that they may fly away within the earth’s air. Yang had to determine a way to carry the tiny particles in place and create an acceptable surroundings for photographing.

Moreover, to attain the perfect exhibition impact, Yang needed to take a whole lot of partial images of every particle underneath the electron microscope, after which merge the images collectively.

The photograph taken in September 2022 reveals that Yang Wei is observing the lunar soil via a microscope. (Xinhua/Yu Fei)

Throughout the method, he labored with artists from CAFA to current the pictures in an aesthetic method. He additionally cooperated with engineers from the Institute of Computing Technology of CAS to make a 3D reconstruction of the particle.

They simulated the depth and angle of daylight at midday within the Chang’e-5 touchdown zone to current what these lunar soil particles would have seemed like in situ on the moon.

“We have an artistic display of the reconstructed 3D model of the lunar soil, combined with VR and augmented reality (AR) technology, so that the public can interact with the lunar soil particles and feel the beauty of the lunar soil through their mobile phones or computers,” mentioned Gao Lin, an affiliate researcher on the Institute of Computing Technology of CAS.

The micrograph taken in February 2022 reveals a glass lunar soil particle that’s solely 0.5 mm in diameter. The floor of the particle displays the picture of the lens, like an enormous eye. (Institute of Geology and Geophysics, CAS/Handout by way of Xinhua)

The micrograph taken in February 2022 reveals the picture of a lunar soil particle, known as agglutinate, resembling a pet. (Institute of Geology and Geophysics, CAS/Handout by way of Xinhua)


In the exhibition corridor, a picture of lunar soil that resembles a pet in type attracted many guests’ consideration.

“This unique soil can not be found on the earth. It’s called an agglutinate,” Yang defined. For him, each grain of lunar soil tells a narrative of what as soon as occurred on the moon.

“Through this puppy-like agglutinate, we could infer that on the moon, where there is no atmosphere, the tiny meteorites hit the lunar surface at high speed and formed small glass particles, which then stuck with other mineral particles into various odd-shaped agglutinates,” he mentioned.

“For many people, lunar soil is a distant mystery, and we hope to unravel this mystery through exhibitions like this,” he mentioned.

For the guests coming to the exhibition, apart from the attraction of science, a way of the artwork of the lunar soil is equally fascinating.

People have been stunned to search out that after magnified and processed by scientists, each lunar soil particle has its personal distinctive patterns and hues. People can use their creativeness to acknowledge flowers, butterflies and stars in numerous pictures.

“It is amazing that the tiny lunar soil particles contain such a rich world. This implies the infinite possibilities for the integration of art and technology,” mentioned Wang Yi, a member of the exhibition planning and creation staff on the CAFA.

Yang mentioned that they might make extra makes an attempt to combine science and artwork. “After all, scientific exploration stimulates artistic creation, and in turn, artistic imagination inspires scientific research,” he added. 

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