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Micro Photonics Celebrates Identification Day with the American Museum of Natural History

Have you ever discovered something mysterious and weren’t exactly sure what it was? Maybe you found something in your backyard or possibly came across a treasure on your last vacation. What should you do with it? Well that is what Identification Day is all about. It is your chance to bring in your mysterious findings for scientist to help you identify it.

Last weekend, the American Museum of Natural History in NY celebrated this annual event and had hundreds of visitors bring in their specimens for identification. Fourteen stations of scientist from several fields of study were set-up to help the museum’s guests identify their findings. Micro Photonics was among the group of 14.

We were very excited to have the SkyScan 1173, a high energy micro-CT that can scan large and dense objects as well as low density materials, available at the museum to help with the investigation. Micro-CT reveals the internal 3D structure of an object without having to cut it open. The SkyScan 1173 was definitely a highlight for the children and adults as we had a flow of people at our station the entire day. We scanned over 15 specimens; some of the more exotic finds were a duck’s skull, a pine cone from a Sequoia, a sea star and a vertebra from a Plesiosaur that a young boy found in his back yard. Visitors were given a flash drive with cross-sections and a 3D movie of their sample.

It was fun seeing and scanning all the different specimens people brought in. It was especially gratifying when we were able to help children identify their specimens and learn about Micro-CT. The children were amazed by the things they saw, with the Micro-CT. They were able to interact with Micro-CT data on IPads and pick-up 3D printed models.

Timothy Sledz, President and CEO, Brandon Walters, Laboratory Manager, and Brandon Klingensmith, Service Manager, were in attendance at the event. Tim Sledz, said ‘It was great to see the excitement on the faces of the children as they watched the instrument at work on their samples and have them play with the 3D models we had from previous scans. It wasn’t so much a dream come true as seeing a dream being born.’

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