Icicle Drop

February 19, 2011

Ice melt 1
Photographer: Bill Oterson 
Summary Author: Bill Oterson; Jim Foster

The photo above shows a gleaming drop of water falling from a melting icicle that was hanging from the porch of my home in Sayville, New York. Notice the inverted scenery behind the icicle -- a result of light reflected and refracted through the drop. Especially distinct are the oak trees. Observe the acorn shape of this drop. Raindrops, drops from leaky faucets, drip drops from icicles or any drop falling from the sky  typically has a spherical shape rather than the pointy teardrop shape often portrayed in illustrations. Surface tension acts to minimize the surface area of falling drops of water – a sphere has the minimum surface area for any given volume. Photo taken on January 30, 2011.

Photo details: Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera; macro EF 100mm lens -- taken without tripod.