30.0 MB (1.0 MB compressed)
2898 x 3622 pixels
24.6 x 30.7 cm ⏐ 9.7 x 12.1 in (300dpi)
KENNETH LIBBRECHT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KENNETH LIBBRECHT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sectored plate 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. Slower growth allows the straight lines and hexagonal shapes of the sectored plate snowflake seen here, which has some star-shape elements.
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