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No Two Alike

Snowflakes can be big clusters of snow crystals, or just one individual and unique crystal. No two snow crystals are exactly alike (which is rather surprising given the amount of snow that falls), but their forms usually fall into several basic types and categories.

TOP (Left to Right):
1. Stellar Dendrites: Six main branches and many sidebranches.
2. Irregular Crystals: Snowflakes have a hard life - many arrive in bad shape.
3. Sectored Plates: Ice ridges divide plate-like arms into sections.
4. Spatial Dendrites: Many individual ice crystals jumbled together.

BOTTOM (Left to Right):
5. Hollow Columns: Hexagonal hollow columns - like a wooden pencil.
6. Rimed Crystals: Cluttered with water droplets that freeze onto them.
7. Needles: Long, thin columnar crystals that look like needles.
8. Capped Columns: Start out as columns, but switch to plate-like growth.

When things falling out of the sky are this beautiful, no wonder snowflake watching is so much fun!

MORE...
Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Arctic, Snow, Cold/Cold Places
Environment/Atmosphere
Links: Arctic, Cold Places, Environment
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports


Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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