This isn't the mysterious landscape of an alien world. It's a closeup of annealed organic solar cells, complete with device-ruining cracks. It's just one of the amazing images from this year's Art Of Science competition.

R.R. Lunt's microscope image of organic solar cells is probably my favorite of this year's Art Of Science competition contenders, because it's so vivid, and because it holds out the promise of cheap, renewable solar power thanks to the use of organic materials in the future. But for now, there are still some flaws to work out, and luckily for us, those flaws look gorgeous.


Other images in the contest include a mouse retinal ganglion that looks like an alien creature, collisions of clouds of plasma in space, embryonic fruitfly neurons, and an artificially induced vortex that looks like a superhero emblem. Here are more of our favorites.

See, and admire, the rest at the link. [Art Of Science 2009 via Nanowerk]