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In total 328 submissions in European Science Photo Competition made it to the final. But as there were 9793 files from 2201 authors spanning over 40 countries, then a lot of them couldn't get that far. What were the most interesting images that can't been seen among national finalists?


European Science Photo Competition 2015 (ESPC 2015) saw 9793 files from 2201 authors from 40 countries. Naturally, many of them didn't made it into the final. But there were lot of great shots besides the 328 submissions (384 separate images[1]) that went on competing for the I place. This blog post here will present selection of another 12 striking photos.

All of the files in this competition were freely licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. including the following.

Fly under fluorescence microscope. Pre-coloring with acridine orange, luminescence excitation by ultraviolet light. Alexander Klepnev from Russia.

Pulsed Laser Deposition in Action.jpg
Thin films of oxides are deposited with atomic layer precision using pulsed laser deposition. A high-intensity pulsed laser is shooting onto the rotating white target consisting of Al2O3 (alumina). The laser pulse creates a plasma explosion visible as the purple cloud. The plasma cloud expands towards the square substrate, consisting of SrTiO3, where it deposits thin layers of alumina, one atomic layer at a time. This results in a conducting interface between the two materials which are otherwise insulating. The substrate is mounted on a heating plate, glowing red from a temperature of 650 °C, to improve the crystallinity of the alumina thin film. Image by Adam Andersen Læssøe from Denmark.

Fluorescence rainbow.JPG
On this picture you can see fluorescence of different substances under UV light. Green is a fluorescein, red is rhodamine B, yellow is rhodamine 6G, blue is quinine, purple is mixture of quinine and rhodamine 6G. Solutions are about 0,001% concentration in water. Maxim Bilovitskiy from Estonia.

Лишайник пармелия обычное освещение и Флуоресценция.jpg
Same lichen under normal light and ultraviolet light. Maria Milaslava from Russia.

Личинка белокрылки.jpg
Greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) larva. Light microscopy, incident light. Sharpness is achieved by focus stacking. Anatoly Mikhaltsov from Russia.

Il Penicillium in piastra.jpg
A colony of Penicillium sp. in Petri dish by Milo Manica from Italy.

Polychaete errantia.jpg
Polychaete errantia marine worm. 10x magnification under polarized light. Image by Cosmic73 from Greece.

Microchip for Carbon Nanotube Field Effect Transistors fabrication.jpg
SEM image of carbon nanotube based field-effect transistor in fabrication. Image obtained during one of the fabrication steps, after hydrofluoric acid wet etching and SF6 based inductively coupled plasma dry etching steps. Glowing structures in the middle are charged photoresist residues. In this chip design each square test pad represents transistor's source or drain electrodes, across which single-walled carbon nanotube will be suspended during the subsequent fabrication stages. Scale: the width of the outermost square test pads is 150 micrometers. SEM image and fabrication by Aidar Kemelbay (NLA, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan), with the help of Dr. Emine Cagin (NTB Buchs, Switzerland).

Cross section of Larix.jpg
Cross section of Larix gmelinii, growing in the north of Siberia. Maria Tabakova from Russia.

Ессентуки 4.JPG
Microcrystals of mineral water “Essentuki 4”. Light microscopy with polarized light. Micrograph by Dashko Alexandra, student of The Science Research Laboratory “Microcosmos”. Scientific adviser Mihaltsov Anatoly Ivanovich. Russia.

Stone Flower (Кам’яна квітка).jpg
Indium phosphide nanocrystalline surface obtained by electrochemical etching. False colours. Photos of nanostructures were obtained in scanning electron microscope JSM-6490 by the researchers of Berdyansk State Pedagogical University. Яна Сычикова and Сергей Ковачев from Ukraine.

Водяной клещ.jpg
Water mite. This animal has length of 1.1 mm. The water sample is taken from a shallow freshwater pond. Light microscopy, incident light, focus stacking. Anatoly Mikhaltsov from Russia.

Selection was done by Ivo Kruusamägi from Estonian Wikipedian. The organizer of European Science Photo Competition.


  1. One might ask how come the number of images is different from the number of submissions -- the reason is hidden behind one of the five image categories, that is about image sets. Several images make up one set that counts as one submission.

Read also: See these striking photos from the European Science Photo Competition