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The Snowflake:  Winter's Secret Beauty

The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty
Kenneth Libbrecht
St. Paul: Voyageur Press, 2003
QC926.32 .L53 2003

From ten thousand feet above Earth, a snowflake falls. Its journey starts when ice forms around a nucleus of dust and is blown by the winds through clouds where the crystals blossom into tiny ice stars. Because it weighs next to nothing, a snow crystal may take hours to fall - finally landing where Patricia Rasmussen's camera can photograph its secret inner beauty.

The snowflake is a fleeting, mysterious work of nature's art that has long fascinated humans. The first medieval scientist to examine snowflakes was so astounded by their remarkable symmetry that he wondered if these ice crystals might even have souls. In the late 1880s, Vermont farmer Wilson Bentley focused his camera on these crystals and pursued a lifelong devotion to cataloging snowflakes. Now Caltech physicist Kenneth Libbrecht chronicles the creation of the simple snow crystal - noting that even today, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we cannot fully explain how snowflakes are created. The mystery remains unsolved.

Quoted from dust jacket.