Cluster of snow flakes

Cluster of snow flakes

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Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cluster of snow flakes, with each crystal exhibiting characteristic hexagonal symmetry. The crystals are made up of water molecules which consist of 2 hydrogen atoms making an angle of 105 degrees with 1 oxygen atom. This fixed shape imposes hexagonal symmetry on the snow crystals & hence a 6-branched figure results. No two snowflakes are identical however, despite their hexagonal structure, since the arrangement of molecules is also determined by atmospheric conditions eg. temperature, humidity, air currents. These will never be identical for two snowflakes.

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Keywords: climate, cluster, cold, crystal, frozen, meteorology, snow, snow crystal, snowflake, weather, winter

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