Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Metal snow, anyone?

It was snowing heavily yesterday, at least by English standards. Can I find something related to both snow and metal on the web? The googling for “metal snow” does not bring that many interesting results, mostly it’s all about metal tools related to snowy weather. All moderately interesting finds are rather old news. There are couple of papers from 1978 entitled “Plasma cooling by metal snow” (this and this). There, “metal snow” refers to the metal dust “liberated” from the walls of Tokamaks as a result of surface cracking. Another old news item concerns the heavy metal snow discovered on Venusian mountain tops back in 1995. According to Laura Schaefer and Bruce Fegley from Washington University in St. Louis (2004), this “snow” consists of compounds such as galena (lead sulfide), bismuthite (bismuth sulfide), and/or lead-bismuth sulfosalts. The most recent find (2008) is a photo promisingly titled Metal Snow Girl which does not show any snow either, but a snowman-like figure made of metal balls.


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