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Snowflakes under a microscope.

Discussion in 'Science and Nature' started by Brahski, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. When I was little I thought snowflakes were actaully this size.
  2. So beautiful. I love that it's starting to snow here now.
  3. magnificent
  4. do a search, and see what a frozen distilled water close-up shows you. it'll cause you to not use it...
  5. Can you post a link? I can't find one that I know is what I'm looking for.
  6. #7 Tunguso, Dec 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2010
    Are you serious, thats the shape of it, are all the others the same shape?

    I checked it out, I bet they exactly represent a reflection.

    That could be a language, from the snowflake tribe. :)

    Good thread.
  7. Click the link, there's much more pictures. :D
  8. All snowflakes are different.:hello:
  9. Much like a fingerprint, no two snowflakes are EVER the same.
  10. So awesome. No snowflakes are a like either which is kind of insane to think about.
  11. #12 Tunguso, Dec 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2010
    Can anyone tell me if a snowflake that falls at night, I mean in pitch black is looked at under a microscope does it appear different in anyway, from the usual differences. Is their any patterns at all ? Is a part of the freezing process?

    Some of patterns look so symbolic, Im just curious where and when the patterns form.
  12. They all look the same when I'm shoveling them.
  13. I remember hearing something like "Every snowflake is unique" is it true that no 2 are the same (i really don't think this can be true) , also what makes them have that geometrical shape rather than just being a sphere or something
  14. dude ^ ive read all your posts here and i have to ask, what are you on?


  15. on a chair, on the internet, on a high.

    Im more interested in the questions about the crystals.
  16. lol sorry man just bustin your chops :p
  17. Those pics are amazing
  18. Heres is some info about how snowflakes form.

    Ill have to put this up on the snowflake forum

    Snow crystals form when tiny supercooled cloud droplets (about 10 μm in diameter) freeze. These droplets are able to remain liquid at temperatures lower than −18 C (0 F), because to freeze, a few molecules in the droplet need to get together by chance to form an arrangement similar to that in an ice lattice; then the droplet freezes around this "nucleus." Experiments show that this "homogeneous" nucleation of cloud droplets only occurs at temperatures lower than −35 C (−31 F).[10] In warmer clouds an aerosol particle or ice nucleus must be present in (or in contact with) the droplet to act as a nucleus. Ice nuclei are very rare compared to that cloud condensation nuclei on which liquid droplets form. Clays, desert dust and biological particles may be effective,[11] although to what extent is unclear. Artificial nuclei include particles of silver iodide and dry ice, and these are used to stimulate precipitation in cloud seeding.[12]
    Once a droplet has frozen, it grows in the supersaturated environment, which is one where air is saturated with respect to ice when the temperature is below the freezing point. The droplet then grows by diffusion of water molecules in the air (vapor) onto the ice crystal surface where they are collected. Because water droplets are so much more numerous than the ice crystals due to their sheer abundance, the crystals are able to grow to hundreds of micrometers or millimeters in size at the expense of the water droplets by a process known as the Wegner-Bergeron-Findeison process. The corresponding depletion of water vapor causes the ice crystals grow at the droplets' expense. These large crystals are an efficient source of precipitation, since they fall through the atmosphere due to their mass, and may collide and stick together in clusters, or aggregates. These aggregates are snowflakes, and are usually the type of ice particle that falls to the ground.[13] Guinness World Records list the world's largest snowflakes as those of January 1887 at Fort Keogh, Montana; allegedly one measured 38 cm (15 in) wide.[14] Although the ice is clear, scattering of light by the crystal facets and hollows/imperfections mean that the crystals often appear white in color due to diffuse reflection of the whole spectrum of light by the small ice particles.[15]
    The shape of the snowflake is determined broadly by the temperature and humidity at which it is formed.[13] The most common snow particles are visibly irregular. Planar crystals (thin and flat) grow in air between 0 C (32 F) and −3 C (27 F). Between −3 C (27 F) and −8 C (18 F), the crystals will form needles or hollow columns or prisms (long thin pencil-like shapes). From −8 C (18 F) to −22 C (−8 F) the shape reverts back to plate-like, often with branched or dendritic features. At temperatures below −22 C (−8 F), the crystal development becomes column-like, although many more complex growth patterns also form such as side-planes, bullet-rosettes and also planar types depending on the conditions and ice nuclei.[16][17][18] If a crystal has started forming in a column growth regime, at around −5 C (23 F), and then falls into the warmer plate-like regime, then plate or dendritic crystals sprout at the end of the column, producing so called "capped columns."[13]
    A snowflake consists of roughly 1019 water molecules, which are added to its core at different rates and in different patterns, depending on the changing temperature and humidity within the atmosphere that the snowflake falls through on its way to the ground. As a result, it is extremely difficult to encounter two identical snowflakes.[19][20] Initial attempts to find identical snowflakes by photographing thousands their images under a microscope from 1885 onward by Wilson Alwyn Bentley found the wide variety of snowflakes we know about today.[21] It is more likely that two snowflakes could become virtually identical if their environments were similar enough. Matching snow crystals were discovered in Wisconsin in 1988. The crystals were not flakes in the usual sense but rather hollow hexagonal prisms.[22]

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