Dendritic Snow Crystal

June 24, 2016


Photographer: Julio M. Ramirez
Summary Authors: Julio M. Ramirez; Jim Foster

The photo above showing a dendritic snow crystal was taken during a snowstorm this past winter in Stamford, Connecticut. It was illuminated with a soft-light flashlight after it fell onto a strategically placed plastic bag. This particular crystal is classified as a dendrite snow crystal with plates at the ends (P2c) according to the Magono-Lee Classification system. It appears that there are more than the usual six branches on this crystal since it apparently fell with or alighted on another crystal. Because these crystals are relatively big (about 0.08 in or 2 mm across) they're fairly easy to see with the unaided eye if they fall onto a dark background. They take shape when the air is cold -- between about 10 degrees F to 2 degrees F (-12 C to -17 C). Note the minute plate crystal (G3) at the bottom. Photo taken on January 28, 2016.

Photo Details: Canon t3 camera; 50mm lens; macro-adapter.