The Snow Show: Making Snowflakes with Neil deGrasse Tyson



How do you make snow? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly learn some cold, hard facts about snow and ice with atmospheric scientist and snowmaker Peter Veals, Ph.D. and glacial scientist Twila Moon, Ph.D. How does snow even form? We learn about how the fluffy stuff falls from the sky and the many types of snow. Learn about deposition, sublimation, and the different freezing points of water– ever wondered why distilled water won’t become solid at freezing temperatures? We answer the age-old question: is every snowflake really unique? We learn about how we humans make snow for ski slopes and events like the Olympics. Will we have to produce snow for the future Olympics? How does refrigeration work? Can you produce snow and leave a carbon-neutral footprint? What type of snow is best for skiing? We break down industrial snowmaking and Peter’s startup, Quantum Snow, where they grow their own snow crystals. Explore the snow situation for the Beijing Olympics. Will there be enough? Next, we speak with Twila about glaciers and other icy environments in the cryosphere. What is a glacier? How have snowfall patterns changed? How fast do glaciers move? How are the cryosphere and our ~thermohaline circulation~ affected by climate change? Should we geoengineer solutions to our snow and ice problems? All that, plus, is it possible that Chuck can come up with more snow jokes? Thanks to our Patrons Takeyla Tyson, Brad Respondek, Jacob D. Fisher, Thyash Maney, Kem Phillips, Chris Pisst, and J Maji for supporting us this week. NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Get the NEW Cosmic Queries book (5/5 ⭐s on Amazon!): https://amzn.to/3dYIEQF Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/startalkradio FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE to StarTalk: Twitter: http://twitter.com/startalkradio Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StarTalk Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/startalk About StarTalk: Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up! #StarTalk #NeildeGrasseTyson


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