How snowflakes form – level 3

23-02-2024 07:00

Snowflakes, with their intricate and captivating beauty, can be explained by the universal laws of nature.

A snowflake, technically called a snow crystal, forms when water vapor meets tiny specks of dust or pollen in the clouds. This interaction creates a hexagonal structure with branching tips that attract more water molecules, resulting in the unique shape of each snowflake. Temperature and humidity determine the size and shape of these branches as the snowflake falls through the clouds due to gravity. No two snowflakes are alike due to their individual journeys.

In 1611, Johannes Kepler theorized about the hexagonal pattern of snowflakes, which was later proven as an efficient use of space. Despite their white appearance, snowflakes are actually clear, with light scattering from their edges. Snowflakes, like celestial bodies, demonstrate the laws of physics and carry their unique history, much like humans.

Difficult words: intricate (complex and detailed), captivating (capable of attracting and holding interest, charming), celestial (relating to the sky or universe).

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What factors determine the size and shape of snowflake branches?


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