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Microscopes were once just a tool of teachers and scientists, but they've come a long way. These days, they are cheaper, have LCD screens and cameras, and can be used to easily photograph snowflakes, observe water drops and look at micrometeorites,* among other weather and science experiments.
The image above (click to enlarge) was taken from a Levenhuk DTX 500 LCD Microscope (currently $125 on Amazon) by Ron Shawley of Johnstown, PA earlier this week. The pictures Ron got with the microscope are really neat, and much closer than I was able to get with a digital camera 10 years ago. Storm Chaser Ron unboxes and explains more of the features of the DTX 500, the (even cheaper) Rainbow 50L, and a telescope camera below:
*I'm very suspicious of articles saying you can collect "micrometeorites" (i.e. meteor dust) in your front yard -- I believe 99% of what you will find using these collection methods on the earth or from the sky at your house is from nature or man here on Earth. However, you shouldn't let that dissuade you from observing it with a microscope... even things we know are terrestrial -- smoke, pollen, etc. are still going to look really neat at 500x magnification!
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