A compound light microscope is a tool for magnifying small objects so that they can be studied more easily by humans. The average classroom light microscope has a magnification of 40x, 100x, and 400x, meaning it has the capacity to make an object appear 40, 100, or 400 times as large as its actual size.
The organelles in a plant cell vary in size. Some organelles are visible with a compound light microscope, while other organelles can be seen only under a more powerful tool, such as an electron microscope. In most plant cells, the organelles that are visible under a compound light microscope are the cell wall, cell membrane, cytoplasm, central vacuole, and nucleus.
Some plant cell organelles are too small to be seen with a compound light microscope. Plant cell organelles that are invisible under a compound light microscope include mitochondria, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticula, and golgi bodies.