Snow forms when microscopic water droplets in clouds are attracted to dust particles and freeze. Ice crystals appearing at the same time, not exceeding at first 0.1 mm in diameter, fall down and grow as a result of moisture condensation from the air on them. In this case, six-pointed crystalline forms with angles of 60 ° and 120 ° are formed.
The astronomer Johannes Kepler first scientifically substantiated the shape of snowflakes in 1611. He published a scientific treatise "On Hexagonal Snowflakes", in which he examined the wonders of nature from the point of view of rigid geometry.
There is such a variety of snowflakes that it is generally believed that no two snowflakes are alike.
The snowflake weighs 1-3 milligrams.
The white color comes from the air trapped in the snowflake. Light of all possible frequencies is reflected at the boundary surfaces between crystals and air and is scattered. Snowflakes are 95% air, which causes a low density and a relatively slow falling speed (0.9 km / h).
In the Eskimo language, there are more than 20 words for snow.
More than half of the world's population has never seen snow, except in photographs.
The largest snowflake was recorded on January 28, 1887 during a snowfall in Fort Keough, Montana, USA; it measured 15 inches (about 38 cm) in diameter. Usually, snowflakes are about 5 mm in diameter with a mass of 0.004 g.
Snow reflects 95% of solar energy. That is, under the sun, it may not melt at all (which is what happens in the mountains). It melts for another reason: in cities, dust settles on the snow, it heats up in the sun and because of it the snow melts.
In some highlands, such as the Sierra Nevada, California, you can see watermelon snow in the summer. It is pink in color and has the smell and taste of watermelon. This phenomenon is due to the presence in the snow of the algae Chlamydomonas nivalis containing the red pigment astaxanthin.
When squeezed, the snow makes a sound that resembles a creak (crunch). This sound occurs when walking on snow, pressing on fresh snow with sled runners, skis, making snowballs, etc. Snow creak is heard at temperatures below -2 degrees. It is believed that this is due to the destruction of the crystals.
By the end of winter, the territory of the Northern Hemisphere is covered with a snow cover of 13, 500 billion tons.
Once the wife of the French king Louis XIV, Madame Maintenon, wanted to take a sleigh ride in the middle of summer. The next morning, she was given a multi-kilometer "snow" track made of salt and sugar along the roads of Versailles.
Japanese nuclear physicist Ukichiro Nakaya (1900-1962) created his book about snowflakes (Snow Crystals: Natural and Artificial, published in 1954) and defined a snowflake classification scheme, in which he subdivided them into 41 individual morphological types ; he was the first to determine the dependence of the shape of crystals on the temperature and humidity of the environment. In the hometown of the scientist Katayamazu, there is the Museum of Snow and Ice named after him.
During the year, 10 to 24 degrees of snowflakes fall.
On Mars, both the usual snow falls and snow from solid carbon dioxide (in addition to permanent polar caps from ordinary ice, seasonal caps from carbon dioxide, better known as "dry" ice