Now that winter has passed, those of us who live in cold climes can once again appreciate the beauty of snowflakes without feeling the urge to curse them for making us dig out the shovel. And if ever snowflakes looked lovely, it's in these images shot by a high-speed camera system developed specifically to photograph them in 3D as they fell.
"Until our device, there was no good instrument for automatically photographing the shapes and sizes of snowflakes in free fall," says Tim Garrett, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah and one of the developers of the cam known as MASC, or Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera. "We are photographing these snowflakes completely untouched by any device, as they exist naturally in the air."
MASC -- under development for three years -- takes 9- to 37-micron-resolution stereographic photographs of snowflakes from three angles while simultaneously measuring the speed of their fall, a highly influential factor in the location and lifetime of a storm. … Read more