Plate Crystal with Simple Extensions

December 25, 2021

Snow crystal 2022_0173 (003)

Photographer: Wilson Bentley

Summary Author: Jim Foster

Shown above is a classic, hexagonal plate snow crystal. This lovely crystal and hundreds of others photographed by Wilson Alwyn Bentley (1865-1931) are housed at the Bentley Snow Crystal Collection in the Schwerdtfeger Library, at the University of Wisconsin. Bentley was perhaps the first to capture these delicate crystals on prepared sets of glass lantern slides.

According to the Lee/Magano system, the crystal above is classified as a plate with simple extensions (P2e). Snow crystals are six-sided because water molecules that form such crystals are characteristically arranged in layers of hexagonal rings. This results in their eye-catching six-fold symmetry.



Wishing you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Peaceful and Healthy 2022,

Erin Senoz, Cadan Cummings, Jim Foster