A snowflake is a single ice crystal that has achieved a sufficient size, and may have . Snowflake symbol. The snowflake is often a traditional seasonal image or motif used around the Christmas season, especially in Europe and North America. Snowflake coated in rime ice, Colorado. © George D. Lepp . Snowflake coated in rime ice, Colorado. © George D. Lepp Z-SN-FL Download stunning free images about Snowflake. Free for commercial use ✓ No attribution required. We asked last week at EarthSky Community Photos for your snowflake images, then sat back and were dazzled by the beautiful and amazing.
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A snowflake is a single ice crystal that has snowflake image a sufficient size, and may have amalgamated with others, then falls through the Earth's atmosphere as snow. Complex shapes emerge as the flake moves through differing temperature and humidity zones in the atmosphere, such that individual snowflake image differ in detail from one another, but may be categorized in eight broad classifications and at least 80 individual variants.
The main constituent shapes for ice crystals, from which combinations may occur, are snowflake image, column, plate, and rime. Snow appears white in color despite being made of clear ice. This is due to diffuse reflection of the whole spectrum of light by the small crystal facets of the snowflakes.
Snowflakes nucleate around mineral or organic particles in snowflake image, subfreezing air masses. They grow by net accretion to the incipient crystals in hexagonal formations. The cohesive forces are primarily electrostatic. In warmer clouds, an aerosol particle or "ice nucleus" must be present in or in contact with the droplet to act as a nucleus. The particles that make ice nuclei are very rare compared to nuclei upon which liquid cloud droplets form; however, it is not understood what makes them efficient.
Clays, desert dust, and biological particles may be effective,  although to what extent is unclear. Artificial nuclei include particles of silver iodide and dry iceand these are used to stimulate precipitation in cloud seeding. Once a droplet has frozen, it grows in the supersaturated environment, which is one where air is saturated with respect to ice when the temperature is below the freezing point.
The droplet then grows by deposition of water molecules in the air vapor onto the ice crystal surface where they are collected. Because water droplets are so much more numerous than the ice crystals due to their sheer abundance, the crystals are able to grow to hundreds of micrometers or millimeters in size at the expense of the water droplets.
This process is known as the Wegener—Bergeron—Findeisen process. The corresponding depletion of water vapor causes the droplets to evaporate, meaning that the ice crystals grow at the droplets' expense. These large crystals are an efficient source of precipitation, since they fall through the atmosphere due to their mass, and may collide and snowflake image together in clusters, or aggregates.
These aggregates are usually the snowflake image of ice particle that falls to the ground. Although this report by a farmer is doubtful, aggregates of three or four inches width have been observed. Single crystals the size of a dime Although ice by itself is clear, snow usually appears white in color due to diffuse reflection of the whole spectrum of light by the scattering of light by the small crystal facets of the snowflakes of which it is comprised.
The shape of the snowflake is determined broadly by the temperature and humidity at which it is formed. It is unlikely that any two snowflakes are alike due to the estimated 10 19 10 quintillion water molecules which make up a typical snowflake,  which grow at different rates and in different patterns depending on the changing temperature and humidity within the atmosphere that the snowflake falls through on its way to the ground.
Although snowflakes are never completely symmetrical, a non-aggregated snowflake often grows so fceux nes emulator to exhibit an approximation of six-fold radial symmetry.
The symmetry gets started  due to the hexagonal crystalline structure of ice. At that stage, the snowflake has the shape of a minute hexagon. The six "arms" of the snowflake, or dendrites, snowflake image grow independently from each of the corners of the hexagon, while either side of each arm grows independently. The microenvironment in which the snowflake grows changes dynamically as the snowflake falls through the cloud and tiny changes in temperature and humidity affect the way in which water molecules attach to the snowflake.
Since the micro-environment and its changes are very nearly identical around the snowflake, each arm tends to grow in nearly the same way. However, being in the same micro-environment does not guarantee that each arm grow the same; indeed, for some crystal forms it does not because the underlying crystal growth mechanism also affects how fast each surface region of a crystal grows.
Snowflakes form in a wide variety of intricate shapes, leading to the notion that "no two are alike". Although nearly-identical snowflakes have been made in laboratory, they are very unlikely snowflake image be found in nature.
Ukichiro Nakaya developed a crystal morphology diagram, relating crystal shape to the temperature and moisture snowflake image under which they formed, which is summarized in the following snowflake image The shape of a snowflake is determined primarily by the temperature and humidity at which it is formed.
As Nakaya discovered, shape is also a function of whether the prevalent moisture is above snowflake image below saturation. Forms below the saturation line trend more towards solid and compact. Crystals formed in supersaturated air trend more towards lacy, delicate and ornate. Many more complex growth patterns also form such as side-planes, snowflake image and also planar types depending on the conditions snowflake image ice nuclei.
Magono and Lee devised a classification of freshly formed snow crystals that includes 80 distinct shapes. They are listed in the following main categories with symbol: The International Classification for Seasonal Snow on the Ground describes snow crystal classification, once it is deposited on the ground, that include grain shape and grain size.
The system also characterizes the snowpack, as the individual crystals metamorphize and coalesce. The snowflake is often a traditional seasonal image or motif used around the Christmas seasonespecially in Europe and North America.
As a Christian celebration, Christmas celebrates the incarnation of Jesuswho according to Christian belief atones for the sins of humanity, making snowflake image appear "white as snow" before God cf. Isaiah 1: Snowflakes are also often used as symbols representing winter or cold conditions. For example, snow tires which snowflake image traction during harsh winter driving conditions are labelled with a snowflake on the mountain symbol.
Snowflakes are also seen as a symbol of uniqueness as no two are snowflake image identical. In heraldry, the snowflake is a stylized chargesnowflake image used to represent winter or winter sports. Three different snowflake symbols are encoded in Unicode: A selection of photographs taken by Wilson Bentley — From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about ice crystals, which form snow.
For other uses, see Snowflake disambiguation. See also: Snow snowflake image. Classifications of snow. Winter portal Christmas portal.
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