Falling Snowflakes Captured in 3D


Snowflakes have been something we’ve marveled at for centuries. The idea that no two are exactly alike, the way that some are good for snowballs and others are not, and the way that they are formed have always been topics of interest. Now a team at University of Utah, lead by atmospheric scientist Tim Garret, have created a super high speed camera set that can take 3D images of snowflakes in mid-air. The Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera (MASC) is triggered by infrared sensors to capture snowflakes as they fall from the sky and can capture thousands of images each night.

According to Tim Garret:

“When people say no two snowflakes are alike, that is very true. They are dissimilar in ways that I did not imagine prior to starting this project. The range of possibilities is immense.”

Aside from distinct shapes in each snowflake the scientists noticed that most snowflakes fall in clumps of many stuck together, and the single form is more rare. The MASC is available for sale through Fallgatter Technologies and has already been purchased by the US Army to help predict avalanches. See more unique snowflake images on the Alta Ski Area site.

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↬ treehugger Hat tip to @rj3sp

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