33.5 MB (1.8 MB compressed)
3826 x 3060 pixels
32.5 x 25.9 cm ⏐ 12.8 x 10.2 in (300dpi)
KENNETH LIBBRECHT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KENNETH LIBBRECHT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Stellar dendrite snowflake, light micrograph. 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. The two main growth patterns observed are faceting and branching. When growth is fast and unstable, branching patterns create a dendritic snowflake (seen here in a star shape or stellar form). Slower growth allows the straight lines and hexagonal shapes of a plate snowflake.
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