Triangular snowflake

Triangular snowflake

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This image is part of the feature The Snowflake World Of Kenneth Libbrecht

Credit: KENNETH LIBBRECHT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Triangular snowflake. Snowflakes are ice crystals that form in air that has a temperature near the freezing point of water. If the air is calm, then a symmetrical, hexagonal snowflake can form. It is also possibly, though fairly rare, for snowflakes with 3-sided triangular symmetry to form, though the formation mechanism is not known for certain. This snowflake has formed mostly by faceting, a crystal growth mechanism that forms straight edges and the symmetrical shapes of a plate snowflake. The arms of a snowflake form due to instabilities that cause branching growth from a snowflake's corners.

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Keywords: 3-sided, christmas, climate, cold, crystal, crystalline, faceting, faceting plate, flake, freezing, frozen, ice, icy, meteorological, meteorology, one, pattern, patterns, plate, precipitation, season, seasonal, seasons, single, snowflake, stellar, symmetrical, symmetry, three-sided, triangle, triangular, unique, water, weather, winter, wintry, xmas

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