Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Shining brightly

The internet is famously unlimited, so here's the second picture of a Burnished Brass in three days. It's 'glowing' better because the sun was shining in Leeds (not any more..., though it's still nicely warm). The creation of this metallic effect is one of Nature's wonders. Light is refracted by the tiny, dust-like scales which cover the moth's wing. Studying a Burnished Brass is like enjoying one of those children's badges which show a different picture if you look at them from a different angle. Tilt your head, and the metallic gleam disappears. Tilt back, and it shines out. This is also seen in butterflies, famously the iridescent blue Morphos of Amazonia. Local people catch them by tying shiny blue sweetpapers to fishing lines and casting high into the jungle trees.

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