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Facts about Ice For Kids


Ice is water, frozen into a solid state. Depending on the presence of impurities such as particles of soil or bubbles of air, it can appear transparent or a more or less opaque bluish-white color. In the Solar System, ice occurs naturally from as close to the Sun as Mercury to as far as the Oort cloud. Beyond the Solar System, it occurs as interstellar ice.

  • It is abundant on Earth’s surface – particularly in the polar regions and above the snow line – and, as a common form of precipitation and deposition, plays a key role in Earth’s water cycle and climate.
  • Ice molecules exhibit different phases (packing geometries) that depend on temperature and pressure.
  • Virtually all the ice on Earth’s surface and in its atmosphere is of a hexagonal crystalline structure denoted as ice Ih.
  • The most common phase transition to ice Ih occurs when liquid water is cooled below 0°C at standard atmospheric pressure.
  • However, many of the physical properties of water and ice are controlled by the formation of hydrogen bonds between adjacent oxygen and hydrogen atoms; while it is a weak bond, it is nonetheless critical in controlling the structure of both water and ice.
  • The density of ice is 0.9167 g/cm at 0 °C, whereas water has a density of 0.9998 g/cm³ at the same temperature.
  • Liquid water is densest, essentially 1.00 g/cm³, at 4 °C and becomes less dense as the water molecules begin to form the hexagonal crystals of ice as the freezing point is reached.
  • Ice was originally thought to be slippery due to the pressure of an object coming into contact with the ice, melting a thin layer of the ice and allowing the object to glide across the surface.
  • Hail[edit] Like other precipitation, hail forms in storm clouds when supercooled water droplets freeze on contact with condensation nuclei, such as dust or dirt.
  • The storm’s updraft blows the hailstones to the upper part of the cloud.
  • Accordingly, hail is actually less common in the tropics despite a much higher frequency of thunderstorms than in the mid-latitudes because the atmosphere over the tropics tends to be warmer over a much greater depth.