They say you learn something new every day and I know I sure do.  When the kids get home from school we sit down and go through their backpacks to see what sort of homework or paperwork they did during the day.  In Abby’s backpack we found an issue of Scholastic News that contained information about snow.  I knew no two snowflakes were alike but I had no idea how many different types of snowflakes there were until I read her flyer and looked on the internet.

     It turns out there are many different kinds of snowflakes that fall from our winter sky.  According to Scholastic News there are four main kinds of snowflakes; plate, stellar crystal, column and needle.  On this website I found even more types of snowflakes with a neat picture chart.

TOP (Left to Right):
1. Stellar Dendrites: Six main branches and many sidebranches.
2. Irregular Crystals : Snowflakes have a hard life – many arrive in bad shape.
3. Sectored Plates: Ice ridges divide plate-like arms into sections.
4. Spatial Dendrites: Many individual ice crystals jumbled together.


<%image(20070103-snowflake-types.jpg|315|159|Snowflake chart)%>

BOTTOM (Left to Right):
5. Hollow Columns: Hexagonal hollow columns – like a wooden pencil.
6. Rimed Crystals : Cluttered with water droplets that freeze onto them.
7. Needles: Long, thin columnar crystals that look like needles.
8. Capped Columns: Start out as columns, but switch to plate-like growth

     This awesome website has more fascinating information as well as photos on it.  I learned there are types of flakes that fall at certain temperatures and I can’t wait to share this information with Abby when she gets home from school.  With our new found knowledge we will patiently wait for our next snow fall so we can see exactly what type of snowflake is falling from our winter sky.