Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Quick! What’s a “Fernlike Stellar Dendrite?”

Click on any image for larger view.

Click on any image for larger view.

Click on any image for larger view.

THE BEAUTY OF SNOWFLAKES, CAPTURED HERE BY THE LATEST PHOTOGRAPHIC TECHNOLOGY, would have delighted pioneer snowflake photographer Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley (1865 - 1931). These snowflakes were photographed by physics professor Kenneth Libbrecht, of the California Institute of Technology, who says the “most basic snowflake pattern is the hexagonal prism, a six-sided block with little detail.

Scientifically, snowflakes are called “Fernlike Stellar Dendrites.” The largest snow crystals are about 5mm, and make for soft, powdery snow.

Via DailyMail.

Look at past Accidental Mysteries posts on Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley here and here.

Images © Kenneth Libbrecht, California Institute of Technology.


Hearts of Glass said...

Gorgeous photos! I have to disagree with whatever source said the largest crystals were only 5mm. I live in Winnipeg and under just the right conditions (really cold and still) I swear the snowflakes are sometimes 7-10mm across. As you can imagine, it's really beautiful and almost makes up for our interminable winters.

Hearts of Glass said...

Oh, unless you meant the largest snowflakes *pictured in your blog*. I'm sure you're accurate in that case! :) Accurate and lovely.

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