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Where does the white go when snow melts?


Where does the white go when snow melts?

1382 day(s) ago

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1360 day(s) ago
i'd like to dismiss this question as silly...but now you've got me wondering.....
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Curious1
Snow is a form of precipitation, meaning it is almost totally composed of water. However, snow is a crystalline form of water composed of small particles of ice that clump together into what is called a snowflake. It seems strange that water is clear, but snow and ice are white. What is even stranger is that a single ice crystal taken from a snowflake is also clear, like water. It is only when you clump them very close together, as they are in flake form, that they become white.

The reason there are colors at all or that we are able to see anything is because light is reflected from objects in different wavelengths. Each wavelength represents a color of the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. When no light passes through an object, that object appears clear, like water and single ice particles. When an object absorbs all of the light without reflecting any back, the object appears black. When all of the light is reflected from an object, the object appears white because when you mix all of the colors of the spectrum, in the form of light, they make what we see as white. It is the combination of all visible wavelengths of light.

When white light passes through water or ice, the water molecules can split the light up into all of its separate wavelengths, producing a rainbow. What happens with snow is that the white light is hitting it, but the ice particles reflect the light onto other ice particles. There are so many ice particles in snow that the light bounces around until it all combines again and is reflected as white light. When the snow melts into water, there are no more ice particles to bounce the light off of and reflect as white light. Most of the light just passes through the water unreflected.


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