Topics » Science & Technology   Dec. 21, 2011

The Science of Snow Crystals

Asymmetrical

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Snowflakes Snow CrystalsGiant snowflakes Forming Flakes Treasure Hunt Shaped by WeatherSectored Plates ColumnsHigh HumidityAlaska boundAsymmetrical

Asymmetrical

Most snowflake crystals are not as symmetrical as they look. "If you look at the dendritic arms carefully, they're usually a bit different," says John Hallett, an atmospheric research scientist with the Desert Research Institute. "The atmosphere is turbulent and a crystal tends to oscillate as it is blown around, so different corners see slightly different environments as they grow."

Photo Essay

Photo Essay