Stellar Snow Crystal Stereo Pair

December 25, 2010

Dec252010epod

Imaged at the Beltsville Agriculture Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland
Summary Author: Jim Foster

The snow crystal stereo pair featured above was imaged using a Low Temperature Scanning Electron Microscope (LT-SEM). This crystal is an example of a stellar snow crystal with plates at the end. It was imaged not long after falling to the surface. To view the pair stereoscopically, cross your eyes and relax your vision until there are three images, then focus on the center image. Be patient and good luck. Research on the structure of snow crystals can be useful for deriving improved models to estimate how much water is stored in snow packs, for better understanding avalanche behavior and for improving snow making at ski resorts.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all the best in the coming year!

Jim Foster, Stu Witmer, Stacy Bowles