Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hexagonals

I'm told, the structure of a snowflake has a relationship with both temperature and humidity. There is bounty of observation and some argument in this area of what that relationship might be.  The one I like, basically suggests that between the freezing point and around twenty three degrees Fahrenheit, snowflakes take on a pattern  described as "Plates and Stars." Then about twenty degrees Fahrenheit, snowflakes, no matter the humidity, take on a cylindrical form.  When temperatures fall below minus five degrees Fahrenheit snowflakes give up on any attempt at predictability. They can be either "Plates and Stars" or cylindrical. 

 
The only thing all snowflakes have in common is that, "white snow flakes show forth six-petalled flowers."  Or what later observers preferred to think of as the "hexagonal morphology of ice crystal formation."  I am also told that on several occasions members of my own species have gone to the expense of making ice crystals in space. Their theory being that perhaps in space it might be possible to understand better how and why six-petalled ice flowers come into being.  Either way, sometime this evening, there is a chance we might see both hexagonal cylinders  and "Plates and Stars."

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