151230; Happy 21st birthday, Joshua! I know it’s hard being thousands of miles away from home but I hope you get to go back soon and just relax for awhile since you’ve worked so hard these past months! Thank you for your angelic voice and lowkey humor that never fails to make us all cringe. Never forget we’ll always be here by your side!


Today the Department of Awesome Snowflake Photography is examining some exquisite snowflakes that didn’t fall from the sky, but were instead grown in a lab at Caltech by physicist Ken Libbrecht

It’s well known that no two snowflakes are exactly alike and Libbrecht is working hard to figure out why that is.

“In order to do so, he watches the frosty crystals condense from water vapor onto a sapphire substrate, all the while taking high-res images with a digital camera rigged up to a microscope. Over the years, Libbrecht has amassed a brilliant photographic collection, not to mention the distinct honor of being the world’s first designer snowflake artist.”

Prints of his snowflake microphotography are available here. Also, along with his wife Rachel Wing, Libbrecht recently published a book about the science, history, and anecdotes about snowflakes entitled The Snowflake: Winter’s Frozen Artistry [Buy on Amazon].

To learn more about Libbrecht’s snowflake research and view more of his gorgeous lab-grown snowflakes visit his Snow Crystals website.

[via Gizmodo]