None of these photographs details an area as large as the period at the end of this sentence. They were taken with a camera attached to a scanning electron microscope at the University of maryland baltimore county .
The process is known as scanning photomicrography, a fancy name for a way of exploring this tiny world's grandeur with Phillip Rutledge, 41, director of the electron microscope facility.
First the yellow jacket was chemically preserved, then they were coated with a layer of gold palladium -- a metal that helps the tissue conduct and respond to the electron beam. The thickness of the coating is between 150 and 200 angstroms (there are 250,000,000 angstroms to the inch).