Snowflake Still-Life

A quartet of snowflakes.

To take these high-resolution images of individual snowflakes, Nathan Myhrvold and his collaborators built a special camera. Their apparatus keeps the snowflakes chilled despite the strong illumination cast on them. It uses a 500 microsecond shutter and focus-stacking to produce incredibly detailed portraits of these ephemeral subjects. Each snowflake’s shape is the result of the temperature and humidity that crystal experienced as it grew. Since these are natural snowflakes, no two are alike, but, with enough environmental control, it is possible to make twin snowflakes. (Image credit: N. Myhrvold; via Colossal)

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