FASCINATING SNOWFLAKE FACTS
How Are They Connected
Have you ever played snowball with your friends? You grab a handful of snow, press it together with your hands, and throw it in the direction of your opponent. What you don’t think about in the process is how to make sure the snowflakes stick together. The scientists don’t really know either. One of the theories states that the crystal arms interlock while another theory claims static attraction or special liquid on the snowflake’s surface.
Snow reflects heat into space. This effect is most noticeable at the North and South poles because they are covered with snow all year long. This dislike for heat is explained by the fact that ice acts like a mirror and the heat bounces off.
Too Cold Even for Snow
Sometimes winter might be so cold there will be no snow. Snow is essentially frozen water. If the temperatures drop too low, the water does not vaporize into the air as fast and there are not enough water droplets in the air for snow to be created.
Are There Identical Snowflakes?
The answer is yes and no. They are similar to a human fingerprint. Simple snow crystals the snowflake consists of can appear identical. However, there are billions of possible combinations how these crystals can attach to one another. Therefore, the probability of two identical snowflakes is nearly zero.
What Is the Color of Snow?
Snow is, in fact, colorless. White snowflakes drifting lazily on a winter day is an optical illusion because each snowflake is absorbing sunlight and it is done over the wavelengths of visible light (the opposite of a prism effect and the spectrum). However, in Prince Edward Island in Canada, snowflakes often look pink due to the red clay soil. The dust gets in the air and absorbed by the water vapor.
Oh No, There’s Snow!
Some people do not like snow. It’s wet and cold and slick. However, there is actually a psychological term for those who are terrified of snow. This fear is called chionophobia.
Earth’s White Blanket
About 12% of the Earth’s land surface is covered with snow and ice. Taking into account that there is about 70% of water covering the Earth’s surface, there’s not a lot of land out there. On the other hand, all seven billion people manage to fit into and share the habitable space.
Snow Capital of the United States
There are 430 inches of snow per year in Stampede Pass, Washington. If you didn’t know that this is the snow capital of the U.S. and you love snow, this is certainly the place to be!
Talking about Water…
Snowflakes are so tiny. It does not take much except body heat to destroy it. But when you think of the number of water molecules in each snowflake, the numbers are incredible. A standard snowflake of average size is made up of 180 billion molecules of water.
Do You Know What a “Snirt” Is?
Language is an interesting thing. You can combine words and create new ones. The language of Sami people who reside in Scandinavian territory has over 180 words for snow. There is a local term – a snirt is a term for Canadian snow – a mixture of dirt and snow.
How Can You Study Snow?
We all know snow melts quite fast so it is hard to study it using standard means of observation. Scientists spread a special chemical compound over a glass plate and wait for a snowflake to land there. When the snowflake lands, it is immediately covered by the compound. When the snow melts, a perfect plastic case showing the snowflake’s exact structure is left behind.
Posted on December 8, 2013, in ARTICLES, IMAGES and tagged article, earth, facts, fascinating, Ice, knowledge, online, photo, pictures, snow picture, Snowflake, snowflakes, snowflakes facts. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.