Lots of Hair Ice

December 19th, 2014
My older sister sent me this photo on a recent morning. This is hair ice growing from an alder tree. All of it grew overnight, formed when liquid water near the outer trunk surface (beneath the bark) froze. This creates an ice front in each pore-like… more »

A Crystal Pair, Several Views, and a "Man on the Crystal"

December 19th, 2014
One advantage of the new apparatus is the capability to grow up to three crystals at a time, each on its own capillary. It is also very useful being able to move each capillary around. Having success with a single crystal, we tried it with two, and much… more »

New Capillary Crystal-Growth Device

December 11th, 2014
After several years of planning and several more years of construction, our new crystal-growth device is operational. We are now tuning the electronics, vacuum system, data collection method, and other aspects, but we can indeed produce ice crystals on… more »

Freezing a Soap Film

December 1st, 2014
Upon seeing this morning some recently posted pictures of freezing soap bubbles, I decided to give it a try. Fortunately, we have been having freezing temperatures recently. And coincidentally, my older daughter had just purchased some glycerin for… more »

Glaze-rime Ice Buildup Facing Creek

November 23rd, 2014
Here's a reed of some sort, with a glaze of clear rime on the side facing a creek. How did the clear ice get there, and what is the white ice on top of it? The fact that the clear ice is just on the side facing the creek indicates that the ice came from… more »

A Change in Habit

November 23rd, 2014
The two main growth modes of snow and hoar (i.e., ice growth from the vapor) are columnar and tabular. In columnar, the shape is long and thin, like a pencil or cluster of pencils (bound snugly with a rubber band). In tabular, the shape is plate-like or… more »

Smaller Hoar Growing on Larger Hoar

November 22nd, 2014
Cold air came down the interior, spilling through gaps in the Cascades, cooling the western side. In the Seattle area, we got our first frost on Nov. 11, but the days stayed cold. Areas in the shade never lost their hoar, so the hoar frost kept growing.… more »

New habit diagram for branched tabular crystals

August 24th, 2014
You might call these “snowflakes”. But let's be specific here with the names. Anyway, a close associate who has been sweating over his snow-crystal growth machine in Japan for many years has just published his latest results. His machine is a vertical… more »

It’s not a rainbow (it’s better)

August 12th, 2014
In summer, the sun reaches higher elevations, bringing the possibility of new atmospheric displays. I saw this one in mid-June. The top, upward arc is the more familiar and common 22-degree halo. But pay attention to the one on the bottom. Its colors… more »

The new ice-crystal-growth apparatus

July 1st, 2014
After a few years in the making, our new device for growing single ice crystals in a well-controlled laboratory environment is nearly ready. We are just adding a few small accessory pieces to allow us to start testing. I was to describe the apparatus at… more »