Microscopic Snow Zoom

snowflakes2A wintery post of ephemeral images.

Snowflakes are made from up to 200 snowcrystals, which form around nucleation points (specs of dirt or pollen). For crystals to form around this nucleus the temperature has to be -35°C or below. The shape a snowcrystal takes is dependant on the temperature at which it forms, and may be up to 4mm in diameter.

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Wilson A. Bentley was the first person to photograph a snowflake in 1885, using trial, error and an adapted microscope and mutated bellows camera.

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Some of the first ever photographs of snowcrystals

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Wilson Bentley, circa 1902.

snowflocons

These are some of the latest, taken in Dec 2008 by Mark Cassino

And using a scanning electron microscope for a different perspective.
Each image zooms into the white square of the previous image…
snow1
93x zoom

snow2
329x zoom

snow3
908x zoom

snow4
1860x zoom

snow5
3900x zoom

snow6
7000x zoom

snow7
18000x zoom

snow8
36000x zoom

…and a few more SEM images…

Hexagonal plate with dendritic extensions

Hexagonal snow crystal


Rimmed hexagonal snow crystal


Hexagonal dendrite


Stellar snow crystal


Snow after several days in snowpack


Image showing the differences between a conventional microscope, using photons (light) and a scanning electron microscope, using electrons, which renders everything opaque as it can’t see reflections or transparency.

Happy Christmas everyone**

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