The 1951 International Snowflake Classification System
This system defines seven principal snow crystal types as plates, stellar crystals, columns, needles, spatial dendrites, capped columns, and irregular forms. To these are added: graupel, ice pellets and hail.
Snowflakes are made of small water droplets. Droplets that freeze onto a falling snow crystal are called rime. Sometimes a snowflake becomes just a ball of rime, called graupel, or soft hail.
Wilson Bentley was the first person to successfully photograph snowflakes.
The Bentley Snow Crystal Collection of the Buffalo Museum of Science is a digital collection of stunning, un-retouched images of Wilson A. Bentley’s original glass slide photographs. Wilson Bentley was the first to discover that no two snowflakes are alike.
When it looks like this out your office window (photo at top), thoughts turn to dendrite build-up. Years ago, as a direct mail promotion, I created a Snowflake Field Guide for the Buffalo Museum of Science. Each day this week, I’ll post some facts about flakes. It was originally intended for kids, but I didn’t know much of this info when I started.