This is the first 3D visualization of a melting snowflake

Developed by Jussi Leinonen of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, this is a visualization of the first ever 3D model of a snowflake melting in the atmosphere. Eventually, a deep understanding of how snow actually melts could "help scientists recognize the signature in radar signals of heavier, wetter snow -- the kind that breaks power lines and tree limbs -- and could be a step toward improving predictions of this hazard." From JPL:

Leinonen's model reproduces key features of melting snowflakes that have been observed in nature. First, meltwater gathers in any concave regions of the snowflake's surface. These liquid-water regions then merge to form a shell of liquid around an ice core, and finally develop into a water drop. The modeled snowflake shown in the video is less than half an inch (one centimeter) long and composed of many individual ice crystals whose arms became entangled when they collided in midair.

"NASA Visualizes the Dance of a Melting Snowflake" (JPL)

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