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Snowflakes, light micrograph

Snowflakes, light micrograph

C048/0156

Rights Managed

37.4 MB (2.9 MB compressed)

4252 x 3071 pixels

36.1 x 25.9 cm ⏐ 14.2 x 10.2 in (300dpi)

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Credit

KENNETH LIBBRECHT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KENNETH LIBBRECHT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Snowflakes, 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 a plate snowflake. Snowflakes can display both types of growth. The type of growth also depends on temperature, which changes in a different way for each snowflake, causing the wide variation in snowflake patterns.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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