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Project to capture elusive snowflake on video

The goal: capturing a falling snowflake on high-speed video
The goal: capturing a falling snowflake on high-speed video

The Canadian Press

September 24, 2012 — Environment Canada launches project to capture snowflake on high-speed video.

Examining the life of a snowflake
Examining the life of a snowflake

This is one flaky project. 

Just in time for winter, the federal government is launching a science project to capture images of the elusive falling snowflake. 

Environment Canada wants to buy an extremely fast camera that can take detailed videos of snowflakes as they float to earth. 

The resulting slow-motion images will show how snowflakes evolve as they descend and that information would be used to make devices that measure snowfall amounts more accurately.

An industry notice on Monday says the project will be carried out at a federal weather research facility in King City, Ont. 

The new camera must be delivered by mid-December, in time for the snow season. 

The video images would slow "the movement of snowflakes and eliminate the motion blur making it possible to track air flow, velocity, acceleration as well as flake size and shape change in some instances," says the notice. 

The King City facility north of Toronto was founded in 1984. Its researchers study the use of weather radar for forecasting and ways to estimate precipitation amounts. 

A spokesperson for Environment Canada was not immediately available to answer questions, including the cost of the project.

The Canadian Press

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