Hoar Crystals

January 03, 2005

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Provided and copyright by: Thomas Holmgren
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Thomas Holmgren

The frosty photo above was taken in Svalboviken, Sweden on November 20, 2004. Winter can be very rewarding during the morning, especially a day or two after a heavy snowfall. A clear and cold night can freeze water vapor out of the air to form beautiful and glittering crystals -- hoarfrost. They often resemble the kind of snowflakes we imagine when winter comes to mind. The slightest wind will fracture them, and even the pale and feeble winter Sun will quickly bring about their demise. An hour or so after sunrise, these fragile gems had vanished.

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[Revised 12/17]