Materials Advent 2018 Part 17 – Snow

Hexagonal plate with dendritic extensions. (precipitating snow).
Snow in an electron microscope.

The US Department of Agriculture has a seriously fascinating page on microscopy of snow flakes because it helps advance understanding of weather and crystal formation.

Snowflakes (usually) have hexagonal symmetry because this reflects the crystal structure of water molecules in the solid. This old article from Scientific American goes a bit more into the details on the formation of snowflakes, but it’s also something we still don’t entirely understand

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