Snowflakes can have an absolutely beautiful structure, but capturing photos of them is really tough to do. However, Vyacheslav Ivanov created a timelapse of a snowflake forming–which is even tougher to do and light correctly. As IFLScience reports though,
“The exact shape of the snowflake is a product of temperature, humidity, amount of water, and the size of the pollen or dust particle. Snowflakes that look like thin hexagonal needles occur in colder air while the most intricate shapes and plates occur when it is slightly warmer and slightly more humid. As the air can change depending on location and elevation, the snowflake’s shape can be influenced in many different ways before it finally comes to rest on the ground.”
So how did he do it? Mr. Ivanov says that he actually did a timelapse of sublimation–which is when a solid transitions into a gas. So essentially, he got the snowflake then recorded it being dissolved into the air. He says the process is like crystallization, but the opposite.
His video is after the jump.