Close up: These snowflakes were captured using a special microscope by Professor Kenneth Libbrecht
It is created in an instant - out of water vapour, and vanishes just as suddenly, its pattern never to be repeated.
These amazing images were taken, using a special microscope, by physics Professor Kenneth Libbrecht, who has spent the past 11 years on a personal quest to record the beautiful world of snowflakes.
Prof Libbrecht, of the California Institute of Technology, says that the most 'basic' snowflake pattern is the hexagonal prism - a six-sided block with little detail.
Amazing - non?