Snow Crystal Image 3
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Snow Crystal (Image 3)

November 4, 2010
A variation of a stellar plate snow crystal.

These common snowflakes are thin, plate-like crystals with six broad arms that form a star-like shape. Their faces are often decorated with amazingly elaborate and symmetrical markings. Plate-like snowflakes form when the temperature is near -2 C (28 F) or near -15 C (5 F).

This image is one of several taken at various locations including northern Ontario, Alaska, Vermont and Michigan, sometime between 2002 and 2008, by Caltech professor of physics Kenneth Libbrecht.

Libbrecht has created a website, Snowcrystals.com, containing all you need to know about snowflakes including the physics of snowflakes (why they look the way they do), a guide to the different types of snowflake crystals, designer snowflakes (see how scientists grow snowflakes in the lab), projects you can do with ice and snow, and much more. (Date of Image: 2002-2008) [Image 3 of 5 related images. See Image 4.]

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