Basic Things You Need to Know About the Nature of Snow
Snow is a solid precipitation consisting of ice crystals of various shapes — snowflakes that look like hexagonal plates and six-pointed asterisks. Snow falls from the clouds when the air temperature is below 0 ° C. This is the most wonderful feature of our planet. It is formed on all continents in huge quantities. Every year, snow covers up to 130 million square kilometers – a quarter of the entire surface of the Earth along with the oceans.
Snow in Terms of Physics
The water vapor that is always present in the atmosphere gradually rises and forms clouds. It is very cold in the upper atmosphere. Tiny droplets of water that are in the clouds, are attracted to dust particles and freeze. Formed ice crystals first have extremely small sizes – no more than 1/10 mm in diameter, and they have the shape of a regular hexagon.
The process of formation of new crystals occurs continuously. Larger and heavier formations – snowflakes arise. When a snowflake becomes heavier than air, it falls to the ground and in the cold period of the year does not have time to melt during flight. That is why it is snowing.
Interesting Facts About Snow
Half of the inhabitants of the globe have never seen real snow, they only saw photos.
In 1949, the first and last time snow fell in the Sahara Desert. The snowfall lasted more than half an hour. There are no two identical snowflakes, each with its own individual pattern. Physicists say that there are more such patterns than atoms on Earth
Why Is Snow White
It mirrors the sun’s rays, which are white. But with the intervention of some weather phenomena – clouds, bright sunset, and this precipitation will no longer seem such a shade. Snowflakes fall on the ground randomly, and as a result – a snowball does not allow completely electromagnetic waves (sunlight) to pass. Therefore, if you make a dent in a snowdrift in sunny weather, the snow seems green-yellow. When the weather is overcast, it looks blue. If the sunset is red, it turns pink. All colors of the rainbow on the surface of a snowdrift are displayed when it is clear and sunny outside.
When the Snow Creaks?
Snow creaks only when it is frosty, and the tone of its squeak varies depending on the temperature of the air – the stronger the frost, the higher the tone of the squeak is. There are people who can assess the temperature of the air by perceived changes in the nature of the snow squeak. This is the noise from the smallest crystals of snow crushed. Separately, each of them is so small that, breaking, it makes a sound inaccessible to the human ear. But when the myriad of such “voices” is summed up, a quite clear creak appears.
Is There Any Snow on Other Celestial Objects?
Snow on Mars exists (normal and from dry ice, that is, frozen carbon dioxide). On Saturn’s satellite Titan, snow cover consists of methane gas that has turned into ice, and on Neptune’s satellite Triton snow is a mixture of several frozen gases. The space probe New Horizons discovered areas with water ice on Pluto in 2015.
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