Phenomena

Growing Snowflakes

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It’s easy to miss the beauty of a snowflake if you don’t take a close look. These tiny crystals form when water freezes onto a dust particle or other nucleation site, and they grow as water vapor freezes on to the nucleus. The structured appearance of a snowflake comes from the bonds formed between water molecules, but the exact type and shape of crystal formed–not all snowflakes are six-sided!depends on the local temperature and humidity during freezing. This microscopic timelapse video by Vyacheslav Ivanov lets you watch the process in action. (Video credit: V. Ivanov; via io9)

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