Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Snow Queen's capacitors

... in fact, this is group of interesting snowflakes: hollow columns (you can find them in classification by Kenneth Libbrecht). These snow crystals are tiny, their length is about 0,3-0,6 millimeters:

Snowflake macro photo: group of tiny hollow column snow crystals with internal cavities in shape of hourglass, on light blue background
Group of hollow column snowflakes (1024 x 768)

Most interesting detail in these snowflakes is hourglass-like air cavities inside of crystal. As you can see, these hollow regions variable in shape, but perfectly symmetrical on both sides of column, like one half is the mirrored copy of another.

This photo was taken with my usual "snowflake" macro setup, containing compact camera Canon Powershot A650is and external lens Helios 44M-5, reversely mounted in front of built-in camera optics (you can see detailed scheme and example photos of this rig in article about snowflake macro photography). 8 serial shots stacked and averaged, which dramatically reduce noise level. Averaging technique especially important for such small objects as tiny snowflakes or pollen grains: they are close to optical limits of my current setup. These crystals captured in January 2013, Moscow.

Similar to hollow column snowflake type is capped columns...

Real snowflake photo: capped column snow crystal with large ice column and two small hexagonal caps on opposite endsPicture of snowflake: capped column snow crystal with thin column and wide caps of different size and shape

...and icy needles:

Snowflake macro photo: group of icy needles with hourglass-like air cavities inside of crystals
Group of icy needles (1450 x 1088)

Needle snowflakes are much longer than hollow columns, and also contains air cavities in form of hourglass. Sometimes these needles grows very long, so they become easily recognizable with naked eye, without any magnification tools. On this photo, you see "chaotic" variation, but sometimes can be found perfectly symmetrical and very clean needles. I'll try to find some better needles in my snowflake archive and process them soon.

If you want to see more snowflakes, you can browse through all snowflake pictures.
Here you'll find snowflake photo wallpapers in numerous resolutions and screen proportions, up to Ultra HD 4K.