Comments on snowflakes
Other researchers interested in snowflakes where Descartes and Leuwenhoek
(and there were, and are) many more.
It seems that at present there is no accepted explanation why many
snowflakes have a very symmetric hexagonal structure though the details
are quite different for different flakes. In fact there is still
research going on in this field. The basic structure comes from the
properties of the water molecules, no doubt. The problem is that the
aggregation process from the supercooled steam of the cloud is plausibly
a local one. Hence there is no obvious reason why it should conserve the
symmetry of the growing snowflake.
A starting point for finding out more:
Hargittai, I and Hargittai, M
Symmetry through the eyes of a chemist: 2nd ed.
New York: Plenum Press 1995
(a few pages on snow crystals with more references)