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Petrographic thin section of Apollo 11 sample 10062

Petrographic thin section of Apollo 11 sample 10062

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NASA / JSC

Petrographic thin section of Apollo 11 sample 10062
Color microphotograph of a thin section of Apollo 11 Sample 10062; Thin Section b photograph using cross nichols light.

Minerals become vibrantly colorful when viewed in "cross nichols" light. A petrographic microscope bears two polarizing filters, one fixed and one that can be rotated. When the two are rotated to the same orientation, the thin section looks like it does in regular transmitted light (see below). But when the rotatable polarizing filter is turned sideways so that it's perpendicular to the fixed one, holes in the rock go black, while minerals, whose regular crystal structure rotates polarized light, leap into color.

Apollo 11 sample 10062 thin section in ordinary transmitted light

NASA / JSC

Apollo 11 sample 10062 thin section in ordinary transmitted light

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

Original image data dated on or about July 20, 1969

Explore related images: mineralogy and petrology, NASA lunar missions before 2005, geology, the Moon, explaining science

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