Sunday, January 1, 2012


So the new year has begun and with that a renewed sense of learning.
My children's favorite subject has always been science so we have always had a lot of fun in this area of learning.
One of the things that has been a topic of discussion lately among my oldest is snow!
So of course we headed to the internet for the answer to this science question.
The kids really had fun reading about this and learning that, at different temperatures snow can look very different.

Quick facts:
Snow begins in the atmosphere as water condenses into a tiny droplet. As more and more water vapor condenses onto its surface, the droplet grows. Cold air then freezes this water into an ice crystal.

Each ice crystal has a unique shape that depends on the surrounding air's temperature and water vapor content. If it is below freezing and there is a lot of water vapor in the air, the crystal grows six evenly spaced branches. More and more water vapor collects on these branches and freezes, making the ice crystal increasingly heavy. Eventually, the ice crystal falls from the sky, leaving the cloud of precipitation that it helped to form. As it falls, the crystal continues to grow by picking up more water vapor.

As it descends, the ice crystal can come into contact with warmer air that makes it melt somewhat. This melting acts like a glue, causing crystals to bond together into larger flakes, forming what many people think of as the "classic" fluffy snowflake. If the crystals melt too much and then refreeze as they get closer to Earth's surface, the precipitation falls as sleet instead of snow.

Once on the ground, snow will remain if temperatures are cold enough to keep it from melting. Glaciers that form on mountains, for example, are made up of snow that accumulates on the ground and eventually turns to ice.

Cool Huh! ; )

Happy New Year's Everyone!

1 comment:

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