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Photographer Alexey Kljatov takes incredible close-up photos of snowflakes in his backyard in Moscow.
“I capture snowflakes on the open balcony of my house, mostly on glass surface, lighted by an LED flashlight from the opposite side of the glass, and sometimes in natural light, using dark woolen fabrics as background.”
Super cool pics cheesy
Sorry about your comet btw I was hoping for a good show just for you cos you deserved it
Water molecules -- made of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms each -- are ultimately responsible for the familiar six-sided shape we associate with snowflakes.
At low humidity you get simple plates and simple hexagonal blocks, Libbrecht said. At higher humidity, more branched structures.
But the physics is far from exact, Libbrecht said.
"It's a mystery as to why [snowflake shapes] go from plates to columns to plates to columns as the temperature lowers," he said. "That's one of the things I've been trying to understand. It has been a mystery for about 75 years, and it's still unsolved."
Every one seems to have six sides with a six pointed star in the middle.
What does this MEAN?
The six-fold symmetry of a snow crystal ultimately derives from the hexagonal geometry of the ice crystal lattice. But the lattice has molecular dimensions, so it's not trivial how this nano-scale symmetry is transferred to the structure of a large snow crystal.
The way it works is through faceting. No long-range forces are necessary to form facets; they appear simply because of how the molecules hook up locally in the lattice (see Crystal Faceting for how this works). From faceting we get hexagonal prisms, which are large structures with six-fold symmetry. Eventually arms sprout from the corners of a prism, and six corners means six arms.
Faceting is how the geometry of the water molecule is transferred to the geometry of a large snow crystal.
These bonds make water an unusual substance. When the temperature drops and water starts to solidify, the hydrogen bonding becomes very important. The hydrogen bonding dictates the shape of the ice crystals. You’ve learned that each water molecule is linked to four other water molecules in a tetrahedral arrangement.
As the water freezes, these tetrahedrons come closer together and crystallize into a six-ring or hexagonal structure. Look at the image to see how this happens. Each point on the hexagon is an oxygen atom, and each side is a hydrogen bonded to one oxygen. As the water approaches freezing temperature, the water molecules continue to crystallize in this tetrahedral arrangement.
But water does something unlike most substances. As it nears freezing, instead of continuing to contract, it expands slightly from about 4 degrees to 0 degrees Celsius as the motion of the molecules slows with the cold, and the hydrogen bonds extend the molecules to their fullest distance from each other. It’s like a ring of people holding hands, elbows bent, and then gradually straightening their arms to the fullest extension so that they’re at the greatest distance from each other. When water molecules do this, the hexagonal structure expands into a larger and larger hexagonal structure.