Computer-enhanced light micrograph of snowflakes

Computer-enhanced light micrograph of snowflakes

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Credit: SCOTT CAMAZINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Snowflakes. Computer-enhanced light micrograph of a variety of snowflakes. Snow crystals exhibit a characteristic hexagonal symmetry. The structure of frozen water molecules means that an hexagonal lattice is the only stable crystalline form. A perfect snow crystal would be a regular hexagon, but a variety of meteorological factors lead to imperfections, causing beautiful branching shapes. As no two snow crystals are subjected to exactly the same conditions, no two form identical shapes. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: climate, cold, crystal, frozen, hexagon, ice, meteorology, snow, snow crystal, snowflake, snowflakes, weather, winter

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