SEM of snow & ice crystals

SEM of snow & ice crystals

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: False-colour scanning electron micrograph of a pair of tiny, flower-like ice crystals. Snow & ice crystals have a characteristic hexagonal symmetry. Each crystal is made up from water molecules, arranged with 2 hydrogen atoms making an angle of 105 degrees with 1 oxygen atom. The fixed shape of the water molecule means they can assume a stable crystal arrangement only when arranged as a 6- branched figure. Despite essential hexagonal similarity no two crystals are identical because their growth is influenced by temperature, humidity, air currents etc., & these conditions are never quite the same. Magnification: x400 at 35mm size, x600 at 6x4.5cm size.

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Keywords: climate, cold, frozen, ice crystal, images, magnified image, meteorology, microscopic photos, scanning electron micrograph, sem, snow crystal, subjects, weather, winter

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