Scanning electron micrograph (greyscale) coloured with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy chemical analysis of a sand grain from Omaha Beach. The purple is a mixture of rare-earth metals, including lanthanum, neodymium and cerium. The green is sodium chloride (salt). The yellow is silicon dioxide (quartz).
The small green piece stuck to the microspherule is nickel-chromium stainless steel from a fragment of another broken D-day microspherule, formed during the explosion when particles were tumbling in the air.