Brittle stars. Colour of the brittle star Ophiocoma wendtii during the day (top) and at night. This marine echinoderm changes colour in response to light. It is covered in microscopic light-sensitive calcium carbonite crystals that act as microlenses, forming a compound eye on its surface. A network of nerve fibres beneath the lenses detects light signals, allowing the brittle star to detect and escape from predators. The design of the lenses may be used to improve components of optical networks and computer chips. The lenses were discovered by Joanna Aizenberg and her team at Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs, USA.
About the Artist - Lucent Technologies\' Bell Labs
Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of "Worlds Within Worlds", a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
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