Sunflower of Jasper : 2010

Photograph by

Bernardo Cesare

About this image

Polarised light micrograph of a sample of ocean jasper. This is a rhyolite volcanic rock that contains a large proportion of silicate minerals. As the rock cools, small aggregates of quartz or feldspar develop which act as seeds for these radial inclusions. Ocean jasper is found only in Madagascar and is highly prized among collectors. Here a thin section of rock just 30 micrometres thick has been polished and polarised light shone through it. A second polarising filter reveals these amazing colours. Photographed using a Canon EOS 55D camera on a Zeiss microscope. Dipartimento Di Geoscienze, Università Di Padova, Padova, Italy