Originally posted by humy
this research explains the mystery of why new snowflakes still continually form in snow clouds long after particles that act as nucleus to seed new snowflakes, specks of dust, should have been all purged out of the atmosphere, by assuming the existence of mysterious hidden atmospheric particles that have yet to be discovered that less efficiently act as snowfla ...[text shortened]... hould be testable in a lab to prove or disprove it so I don't see why it wouldn't be scientific.
Why does it have to be the inclusion of nucleation particles after it starts forming? You see crystallization in some substances where the particles themselves are the nucleation agent.
Hadn't studied this phenomenon much but that wiki seems to be a good start.
I don't see why you couldn't do an experiment in a chamber where you have pure air, say 100% N2, then introduce a small amount of dust, where you know the mass of the dust and then the subsequent buildup of snow when you inject water at the right temperature and so forth. With X amount of dust, it will get used up leaving only N2 then you can see if nucleation continues unabated.
I wonder if you can make snow with DI water? 100% H2O might take a larger amount of dust to start precipitating crystals. Just a guess.
Looking at Mars photos where the atmosphere is something like 1 Torr or so seems to prevent the formation of snowflakes, presumably because the absolute mass density of water in the atmosphere is so much lower. You remember the pictures of one of the rovers where they found ice crystals on the legs of the machine and the ground under it. If I remember right, they were very small crystals. I would assume there would be plenty of material for nucleation on Mars since the atmosphere is so dusty but not much crystallization can happen there.