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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Electron micrograph of a snowflake  (credit: Agricultural Research Service)

In mid-winter most folks are unlikely thinking about the structure of snowflakes or other such cold matters. However, researchers see different opportunities to investigate materials. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) produced an electron microscope image of a single snowflake. The ultra-details are impressive and strange. Magnified 50,000 times, the snowflake has the appearance of an industrial component with nano-droplets of water protruding from the ends of the structure. The photograph is also amazing when you consider that no two snowflakes are alike.

The image may not be inspiring to someone digging out a huge pile of snow in the driveway but it is cool to ponder anyway. A video explains the process how electron micrographs are crafted. WHB


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