The 15 best electron microscope images of 2011

There's a whole world out there that we're incapable of seeing without the aid of very complicated an expensive electronics. On the large scale, we're talking about looking at the universe through telescopes, but it works the other way, too, using things like electron microscopes to explore the inherent beauty of the very, very small.

FEI, a company from Oregon that makes electron microscopes, sponsors a contest every year to find the best electron microscope images. In the gallery below, you'll find the top three pics plus six honorable mentions, and we've gone through the entries and included some of our favorites too. If you want to take a look at the rest of the submissions, they're all available in desktop wallpaper-sized versions on Flickr here.

FEI, via Gizmodo

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