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Hoffman Modulation Contrast Image Gallery

Apollo 15 Moon Rock

Thin sections of rocks recovered from the surface of the Moon by Apollo astronauts exhibit an array of colors when viewed through a polarized light microscope. Addition of Hoffman modulation optics to the recipe yields images that display an apparent three-dimensional character.

The photomicrograph above was taken of a mare basalt specimen during the Apollo 15 mission in the early 1970s. Mare basalts are volcanic lavas rich in iron and titanium oxide minerals that formed when molten rock from the Moon's interior came to the surface and flowed over large areas.

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