Grow­ing snowflakes

From dust to den­drites, snowflakes take a chill­ing jour­ney on their way to the ground

How It Works - - SCIENCE -


Snowflakes form around tiny dust or pollen par­ti­cles float­ing in a cloud.


Water mol­e­cules in the cloud vapour con­dense on the par­ti­cle and a droplet be­gins to form.


The droplet freezes to form a hexag­o­nal prism; each face de­vel­ops a cav­ity whereby more water mol­e­cules col­lect and freeze to form branches.


Air cur­rents move snowflakes into re­gions of vary­ing tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity, carv­ing out the fi­nal shape of the snowflake, al­low­ing more branches to sprout off one an­other.

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