This butterfly wing was magnified 10 times with an Intel Play digital microscope. The microscope takes low megapixel photos, so the picture quality is not quite up to par.
The scales on the wings serve different purposes, they work as "solar collectors" to help warm the butterfly for flight; they give coloration to the butterfly; they help attract a mate. It is a misconception that butterflies can not fly if their wings are touched and the scales come off. The biggest danger is if the wings are damaged from being caught by awkward little hands, then the butterfly can no longer fly. It is best to use an insect net and a wide-mouthed jar for catching butterflies; don't keep them in the jar for long, they may flap around too much and break their wings.