Electron microscope image of a bee wing

Electron microscope image of a bee wing

A message from your Microscopy LIVE! hosts:

Hello everyone! We'd like to thank you for your interest and support over the past 18 months, and we're sorry to say that Microscopy LIVE! will be on hiatus for a short while. Jen is off to start a new adventure abroad and Cesca will soon also be spreading her wings, but worry not – we'll be setting up our new team members and the current PEMC staff with everything they need to get Microscopy LIVE! going again. We've had a wonderful time running these events and we still firmly believe that Microscopy LIVE! is a powerful initiative to introduce science to more people, but to also remove the mystery of it all. We're very grateful to have been able to bring a little piece of our world into yours. Make sure to follow us on , , , and to stay up to date with what's happening in the lab, and we can't wait to see what the future of Microscopy LIVE! brings.
– Jen & Cesca (April 2023)

Join us online for an hour of real science in real time!

Microscopy LIVE! is a free interactive event that brings our electron microscopy lab to you, whether you’re in your living room, your classroom, or at your desk. We explore a different sample each time and let the audience decide what we focus on. So far we've looked at animal hair, meteorites, mushrooms, ice cream, plankton, and more!
During Microscopy LIVE! you’ll be able to ask questions, see just what goes on in the laboratory, and even drive the microscope yourself from wherever you are. By registering you'll also get access to a summary booklet of the techniques, images, and data collected during the event. Keep an eye out for upcoming events!
False-colour SEM image of bay tree pollen collected during Microscopy LIVE!
False-colour SEM image of bay tree pollen collected during Microscopy LIVE!
Microscopy LIVE! is open to everyone, no matter your experience with science or electron microscopy.
These are friendly and informal events where no question is a stupid question. On top of the live event, each session of Microscopy LIVE! is recorded so you won't miss out if you can't attend, but make sure to register to get access to the summary booklet full of the images we collect as well as our prize quiz.

Check out our to watch our previous sessions!
Microscopy LIVE! is proudly partnered with .

Seaside science with Wembury Marine Centre

As part of Plymouth Materials Characterisation Network, we teamed up with the Devon Wildlife Trust at to bring Microscopy LIVE! to the seaside. We took our JEOL NeoScope and joined in with a special event all about plankton, where guests got the chance to see tiny marine organisms in the wild and with both optical and electron microscopes. Although our focus was on planktonic creatures like this copepod, we also got the chance to look at some mermaid's purses – the egg casings of sharks and rays – that were collected in the local area.
We are very grateful to be able to support the Devon Wildlife Trust, and can't wait for our next seaside adventure!

Introducing school students to electron microscopy

Following the fun we had in 2022, Microscopy LIVE! returned for the 2023 Science & Engineering Showcase where we introduced around 600 secondary school students and members of the public to electron microscopy. Last year we analysed a moth left with us by our friends at Pollenize, but this time we got up close and personal with a mushroom, saw just how many cubes can make up a grain of salt, found out what's inside a coffee bean, and counted all the legs on a centipede.
Dartmoor Zoo

Microscopy LIVE! at Dartmoor Zoo

In October 2022, we were lucky enough to invited to Dartmoor Zoo for two days of live electron microscopy with their staff and zoo visitors. Using our portable electron microscope, we analysed a wide range of animal products from parrot feathers to insect moults and had a great time seeing people fall in love with electron microscopy. This was a great experience for us and for everyone who came, and getting to analyse wolf hair next to the wolves it came from was extra special.
We hope to go back soon, but in the meantime check out our favourite images from Microscopy LIVE! (including our time at Dartmoor Zoo) below!

Some of our favourite images from Microscopy LIVE!

  • Mushroom hyphae

    Mushroom gills

  • Jungle Nymph

    Jungle Nymph (Dartmoor Zoo)

  • Mushroom Hyphae

    Mushroom hyphae

  • SEM image of marine micro-organisms


  • SEM image of marine micro-organisms

    Coccolithophore and Diatoms

  • SEM image of dog hair

    Dog hair

  • SEM image of lemon tree pollen

    Lemon tree pollen

  • SEM image of horse hair

    Horse hair

  • SEM image of crocus pollen

    Crocus pollen

  • SEM image of paint brush bristles

    Paint brush

  • SEM image of a wooden pencil

    Wooden pencil

  • Cockroach

    Cockroach (Dartmoor Zoo)

  • SEM image of Dawn Redwood leaves

    Dawn Redwood leaves

  • SEM image of a rosemary leaf

    Rosemary leaf

  • SEM image of ice cream

    Ice cream

  • SEM image of ice cream

    Ice cream

  • SEM image of a moth probiscis

    Moth proboscis

  • SEM image of a moth eye

    Moth eye

  • Feather

    Parrot Feather (Dartmoor Zoo)

  • Element map of Martian meteorite

    Martian Meteorite

  • Element map of Vestan meteorite

    Vestan Meteorite

  • Copepod


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