Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Are Snowflakes Really All Different?

I loved seeing it snow as a kid. We used to have snowball fights, catch the snow on our tongues, make snowmen and snow forts. I've always heard snowflakes are special because they are all different, no two snowflakes are alike. As a kid I never really looked closely at the snow, just assumed the saying was true. As an adult, I haven't really examined any up close either. When it last snowed, it seemed like the perfect time for the boys and I to do a little experiment and see what the snowflakes looked like.

To do this, you will need
  • Magnifying glass
  • Black construction paper, cardstock, or piece of black foam
  • A snowy day
Directions:
1. Place a piece of black construction paper outside to chill. Make sure you don't lay in the snow though so it doesn't get wet. 
2. After the paper has chilled, go outside and catch snowflakes on it.
3. Use the magnifying glass to get a good look at the snowflakes. Are they all different?
My pictures of snowflakes. Click to make larger.

A Lesson In Snowflakes
  • The size and shape of the snowflake is dependent on the humidity and temperature it was formed at.
  • Falling through the atmosphere and varying conditions can cause changes to the snowflake's shape.
  • The 6 sided snowflakes are the stereotypical snowflake. Because they are larger and more complex, these will most likely all be unique in shape.
  • There are other shapes and types of snowflakes. Some snow crystals are so small that you cannot see them using just your eyes. These smaller, less complex snowflakes could be the same shape.
  • The biggest snowflake was supposed have a diameter of 15 inches and fell in 1887 in Ft. Keogh, Montana.
Sources:

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from you! I promise I read every comment, but I don't always remember to respond to each one.