A wonderful water molecule made of one Oxygen atom (red) and two Hydrogen atoms (white). Photo from Wikipedia

Yesterday we discussed how the hexagonal shape for a snow crystal forms. We explored how those shapes then connect to each other and expand outward to form snowflakes. However, I would know like to bring you a little deeper into the structure of a snowflake. Be prepared, this is going to be one shocking ride!

After a whole lot of difficult math, not to mention how confusing it was, I came to the conclusion that an average snowflake contains 1,384,615,384,615,384,615,384 atoms. So that means 923,076,923,076,923,076,922 of those atoms are hydrogen atoms. That also means the remaining 461,538,461,538,461,538,461 atoms are oxygen atoms. What that means that, to make a water molecule, you need two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. When these three connect and form the snowflake you have a total of 461,538,461,538,461,538,461 water molecules.

That means you have 461 quintillion water molecules in one single snowflake (461 quintillion cents would be enough money to buy 92+ trillion 50,000 dollar cars). Just imagine the work that was to be put into one single snowflake to make it so beautiful. Wait, let’s not imagine, let’s see.

OK, you have atom number 1,000,001. This atom is an oxygen atom and it has a weak negative charge. Soon, two hydrogen atoms (#120 and 5,000,122), with their own little positive charges get attracted to the negatively charged oxygen atom. When they meet together and form a water molecule they are now classified as an hydrogen bond. I have emphasized this bond to the right.

When the temperature around a water molecule starts to freeze, the hydrogen atoms attract the oxygen atom. The oxygen atom attracts to the hydrogen atoms and they begin to bond together, creating a hydrogen bond. After more bonding the water molecules form a hexagon. Why a hexagon? I believe God chose the hexagon for the shape of these water molecules’ bonding just because they can make such beautiful shapes and they can easily make many shapes that are symmetrical. I would like to show you some of the designs and snowflakes I made out of some simple hexagons.

And then:

I think you can see why a hexagonal shape is so perfect for crystalline structures such as snowflakes.

OK, now that we have established the sheer perfectness of the hexagon and its shape-making abilities, I would like to talk a little about how each and every snowflake is made.

Thanks to the Severe Weather Team Blog and their research, with a little mathematical translation from yours truly, they say there are: 259,061,575 snowflakes in one square inch of snow. That means, if you have an average storm dropping three inches of snow over a an area covering 200 miles in just 3 hours. There would have to be nearly 9,848,484,835,200,000 snowflakes being made each second and landing on the ground.

Translated:

1,363,636,361,796,923,076,922,470,862,471,700,000 atoms would have to be combining to form water molecules and then combine to form hexagons of six total atoms so they can combine and form snowflakes. All that would have to happen in one second without any communication between water molecules or droplets. Every single one would have to be crafted by God uniquely at a pace of almost 10 quadrillion (for snowflake that is, atoms per second . . . I don’t want to even go there) a second for three hours. And, that is just for one snowstorm.

But, you don’t doubt God can do it, do you? Believe me, He can and does. God is amazing.

About Jacob Howard

A writer and Christian, I thank God for letting me see the Salvation offered by His Son and I am eternally grateful for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

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