Metaphase is the point in the cell cycle after the chromosomes have condensed and lined up in the middle, just before the cell is divided into two daughter cells. The chromosomes are held into place with kinetochore microtubules to create what is known as the metaphase plate, spanning the equator of the cell.
The following gif shows metaphase as it happens in normal cells obtained from pig kidney epithelium. The microtubules use mEmerald fluorescent protein as a marker, while the chromatids are labeled in bright red from mCherry.
The images were made with a Nikon C1si/TE2000 laser scanning confocal microscopy and are the property of Nikon’s MicroscopyU. If you haven’t checked out their website, it is completely amazing and you need to go take a look right now.