Backscattered electron images showing composition variation

Preliminary examination of the polished and carbon-coated surfaces of rocks and minerals, particularly by backscattered electron imaging, is the most frequent application of the Zeiss EVO 15LS scanning electron microscope.

This backscattered electron image of the polished surface of a meteorite specimen shows sections through droplets called chondrules. The different grey tones show the variation in composition across the sample. It contains material almost unaltered from 4.6 billion years ago, before the formation of the planets.