'Flowers' of hoar-frost on a window pane

'Flowers' of hoar-frost on a window pane

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Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: "Flowers" of hoar-frost on a window pane. When the atmosphere is full of frosty fog the water vapour in the air will crystallize out on the slightest rough surface; in this case the scratches on the glass surface. The crystals formed have hexagonal symmetry owing to the fixed shape of the water molecule. The latter comprises 2 hydrogen atoms making an angle of 105 degrees with 1 oxygen atom. The molecules can acheive a stable crystal only when in an hexagonal arrangement.

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Keywords: climate, cold, frost, frozen, hoar, meteorology, weather, window pane, winter

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