EPOD 20th - Snow Crystals In February Snowfalls

September 08, 2020



We’re celebrating 20 years of Earth Science Picture of the Day during the month of September! Today’s photo features a popular EPOD from the past. Thanks to all of our followers (on the blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for supporting us. Thanks also to all of you who’ve submitted your photos. We’re most appreciative. This EPOD was originally published March 25, 2015.

Photographer: Jen Campbell
Summary Authors: Brian Campbell; Jim Foster

Shown above are photos of snow crystals taken during snowfalls in Salisbury, Maryland, this past February. A sector plate snow crystal is featured at top. Plate crystals such as this are typically observed when the air temperature is quite cold, 0-10 F or about -15 C. The bottom photo shows a collection of simple needle snow crystals. These formed when the temperature was in the low 20s F (about -5 C). The familiar hexagonal shape of snow crystals is a result of the six-fold symmetry of the ice crystal lattice.

Note that these photos were taken from about 2 in (5 cm) away. It took 100 shots to get 7 or 8 sharp crystals, like the ones above. Top photo taken on February 16, 2015 and bottom photo taken on February 18, 2015.

Photo Details: 200 mm f/2.8 macro lens, with an ice light for lighting.

Click here to see the epod that was posted on this date in 2000 -- our very first epod.