Why Is Snow White, But Ice Clear?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - It all has to do with air. Objects get their color by absorbing or reflecting different wavelengths of light. For instance, a banana absorbs all wavelengths of light except yellow, which it reflects back to your eye. White is the result of reflection of all colors.

Snow and snowflakes are ice crystals mixed with air molecules. The air gaps between crystals, along with the crystals' complex shapes, bounces the light beams around so much that all the wavelengths eventually get reflected out, giving it a white color.

Meanwhile, ice has very little air between the frozen water, allowing the light to pass through with minimal reflection -- although thick ice will eventually absorb the red colors, giving it a blue tinge.

For More Information:

www.discovery.com

Your Photos

YouNews Chasing Rainbow. Chasing Rainbow.
While I was busy working, suddenly I turned my head towards the window to see a perfect rainbow and a cruise ship moving fast towards it. Frantically I grabbed my camera and ran to the balcony to take the shot just when the ship appeared to be entering the rainbow.
YouNews Seattle Couple Embraces Seattle Storm Seattle Couple Embraces Seattle Storm
A lot of guests had trouble getting to Nick and Jane's wedding, but there seemed to be a magical bubble around the wedding itself - sunny and only a few big gusts while safe in the church... until well into the cozy inside Broadmoor Golf Club reception.