Coloured SEM of a snowflake

Coloured SEM of a snowflake

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Credit: MICROFIELD SCIENTIFIC LTD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Snowflake. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a snowflake. Snow crystals exhibit a characteristic hexagonal symmetry. The structure of frozen water molecules means that a 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: x1,550 at 5x7cm size. x5400 at 6.5x9.5 inch size.

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

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