B. subtilis peeking through a filter

A false-color scanning electron micrograph I took the other day of a B. subtilis bacterium peeking through a polycarbonate filter.


Magnification: 40,000X (the bacterium is about 0.5 micrometers in diameter; compare that with the average width of a human hair, which is 70 micrometers--this bacterium is 140 times smaller!). To the naked eye, this filter just looks like a perfectly smooth surface, and you'd never come even close to seeing that there were bacteria on it!


Since electron microscopy uses electrons instead of light to look at a specimen, there is no color in an image straight from the machine. Thus, color is often applied after the fact to make the image more interesting to look at.

  • Nate Chongsiriwatana 8y

    icthologist, what's special about Anopore filters? This was taken on an Isopore filter. Are they similar?
  • Skype Captain 8y

    How about doing a flower macro using an electron microscop and stitching 10s of thousands of pictures together. Imagine the resolution. You could print the flower as big as a house and there is still no pixelation.

    Great shot.
  • Nate Chongsiriwatana 8y

    skypecaptain, what a crazy idea! That would indeed be an amazing sight to see. I think you could probably actually print it bigger than a house. More like a football field!
  • Lemrin Jackson 8y

    awsome shot....
  • Surfactant 8y

  • Almodovar Photography 7y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Microscopy Art, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • C-555-C 6y

    great shot!!(y)
  • Arjuna Ravikumar 6y

    beautiful :)
  • Donald Campbell 6y

    Beautiful shot. So, can you get the SEM in a Nikon fit? ;o) And I thought macro was a different world!
  • dora_marie 6y

    I love that you took the time to explain what was on your picture too. Thank you.
  • Stu M 6y

    It's cool that you titled these "inner space" because when i was young, i had this windows 3.1 program called "inner space" and you looked at sweet microscopic stuff. also this pic is awesome.
  • Lyndon (AussieDingo) 6y

    makes me think of cheese. love it. so cool.
  • ***Yuna*** 6y

    This is so cool, and great info = )
  • Kelly Rae Daugherty 6y

    oh boy...this little bacterium is creeping me out! back baCK you lil rascal~
  • Shane Gooseman 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Geheimsache EXPLORE, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Erik J. 6y

    Cool !
  • VisualsU 5y

    Congratulations, you have received an invite to contribute to Visuals Unlimited - A leading provider of Science and Nature Stock Imagery! If you wish your photo to be seen by our photo editors, please add your photo to the VU group , where you can find details on representation. Hope to see you there!
  • Atomic Art 5y

    Hey, great image. I have just added my artwork which is inspired by images of atoms as seen through modern microscopes. So came across your images, very inspiring, thanks


  • 5ty789oi 4y

56 faves
Taken on June 18, 2007
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