Blue Snowflakes

February 14, 2013

LacyplatecrystalDSCF8105 (2)

Photographer: Curtis McQueen
Summary Authors: Curtis McQueen; Jim Foster

On the night of January 25, 2013, my wife and I enjoyed the most glittering magical snowfall we had ever seen here in Kempton Pennsylvania. Temperatures were in the teens F (about -8 C) and the snow came with barely a whisper drifting down through very still air. At first light in the morning, we found an undisturbed layer of snowflakes (fernlike stellar dendrites) containing the beauty pictured above. Where else could such a delicate crystal be found but on the, well, ever-romantic hood of my pickup? Illuminated with an LED flashlight, the crystals’ nearly planar faces flashed brightly, one or two at a time. Although we snapped many shots, only a few really captured the beauty we saw.

Click here to view an animation of what we saw. You won’t observe the detail shown in the photo, but you’ll be able to see the flashing mentioned above. You may hear the camera working hard to focus itself on the constantly changing surface.

Photo details: Camera Maker: FUJIFILM; Camera Model: FinePix S1500; Focal Length: 5.9mm; Aperture: f/4.0; Exposure Time: 0.010 s (1/100); ISO equiv: 64; Software: Digital Camera FinePix S1500 Ver1.03.