The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) aims to advance public awareness, appreciation and engagement of science, engineering and technology in South Africa. SAASTA is business Unit of the National Research Foundation.

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Winner: Cave of wonders by Heinrich Badenhorst
Description: A Scanning Electron Microscope allows us to see this graphite crystal at a magnification of over 30000 times. It looks like a cave of stalactites and stalagmites, but these structures can be a thousand times thinner than a strand of human hair. When the graphite crystal is burned in oxygen, the impurities in the crystal prevent oxidation and create these wondrous structures.


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Runner-up: A closer look at paint by Sharon Eggers
Description: This photograph is a highly magnified image of particles of a paint polymer. It was taken with a Scanning Electron Microscope.