Home Science & Technology Why are snow crystals hexagonal? Why are snow crystals hexagonal?No two snowflakes are the same, it is sometimes said. But why are they always flat and hexagonal? Science & Technology 2023-07-03 by Space Navy 0 Comment No two snowflakes are the same, it is sometimes said. But why are they always flat and hexagonal? Snowflakes inherit their symmetrical shape from the structural layer of water molecules. This hexagonal shape is caused by six water molecules forming a circle together. This basic structural layer is thus flat, and because the bonds between the molecules in this basic structure are much stronger than the bonds between layers, the crystals take on a flat shape. The hexagonal and symmetrical structural layer thus forms primarily a two-dimensional form and not a three-dimensional one. Water molecules are arranged six together 1. Moisture binds to the periphery A snowflake is an ice crystal that forms hexagonal symmetry as it grows. The snowflake expands so that new water molecules in the air bind to the edges. 2. The form comes from within In professional terms, this hexagonal shape is also called a hexagon. The shape is caused by the hexagonal rings that water molecules form together and lays the foundation for the crystals. 3. Atoms form angles A water molecule has one large oxygen atom and two small hydrogen atoms that form a certain angle with each other. This angle causes exactly six molecules to bond together in a ring. However, not all snowflakes are flat. How the shape will be in detail is also determined by small changes in air humidity and temperature. Small, flat stars form when temperatures are close to freezing. Between -3°C and -10°C, long needles form. But when the frost drops below 10 degrees, flat stars appear again, only much larger. As individual snowflakes encounter different conditions on their way to Earth, they expand in different ways. Therefore, there is also something in the fact that not all snowflakes are the same. But there are various basic shapes that can be seen over and over again. Experts say that these basic forms are no less than 35.