Friday, May 22, 2009


Sands of coral, shell and volcanic material.

A spiral sand grain and sponge spicules (internal skeletons).

Sand grains form the beaches of Maui.

Sands from Namibia, consisting of pink and red Garnets.

Stars from Okinawa, Japan. Actually, the skeletons of single-celled forams.

Moon dust, collected by Apollo 11.

It looks like a Hubble image of an asteroid, but it's a speck of dust from the Moon.

More Apollo 11 Moon dust.

Thanks to Dr. Gary Greenberg for the use of his photographs.

To see a world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower,
hold infinity in your hand,
and eternity in an hour.- William Blake (Auguries of Innocence).

The other night I was surfing the net (like you do) and I came across a site that I wanted to share with you all. It is called It is the the website of Dr. Gary Greenberg, who is a scientist, an inventor , and an artist. Dr. Greenberg holds a PhD in biomedical research and is the co-founder of a company that makes scientific equipment, including microscopes. He holds many patents for high definition three- dimensional light microscopes (I'm not completely sure what that means, but it sounds fancy!). Since 2001 he has be using his special microscopes to photograph sand, foods, flowers and the landscape of our bodies, magnified hundreds of times. A lot of you know how I love science geeks (after all, I'm married to one!) and I'm fascinated by people who use their skills and talents in very unexpected ways. Since I use gemstones in my own work, of course I was drawn to his beautiful sand photos, many of which are actually fragments of gemstones and still others that are shell and coral. I love to spend hours on the beaches of California searching for bits of glass and beach tossed stones, but I've never been lucky enough to see a handful of sand from this vantage point before. His photographs give new and enlightening perspective to the natural world that's all around us. I contacted Dr. Greenberg, and he was kind enough to allow me to reproduce some of his photos from both his website and his wonderful book, A Grain Of Sand. In his email to me he included some images of moon dust collected by Apollo 11. Just last week he collaborated with Nasa contracted scientists to create these images which he shared with me.
An exhibition of of Dr. Greenberg's photos will be at the Science Museum of Minnesota, from May 2008 until early in 2010. His beautiful book is available here. Visit his website here.


cindi's blahg blahg blahg said...

very cool pics! I love the detail in them. dr. greenburg rocks - really.

Karen Elmquist said...

These are incredible. It's all aroaund us, baby!!