When snow began to fall while he was walking across the Charles Bridge in Prague late in 1610, the eminent astronomer Johannes Kepler asked himself the following question: Why do snowflakes, when they first fall, and before they are entangled into larger clumps, always come down with six corners and with six radii tufted like feathers?
In his effort to answer this charming and never-before-asked question about snowflakes, Kepler delves into the nature of beehives, peapods, pomegranates, five-petaled flowers, the spiral shape of the snail's shell, and the formative power of nature itself. While he did not answer his original question—it remained a mystery for another three hundred years—he did find an occasion for deep and playful thought.
"A most suitable book for any and all during the winter and holiday seasons is a reissue of a holiday present by the great mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler…Even the endnotes in this wonderful little book are interesting and educationally fun to read."—Jay Pasachoff, The Key Reporter
—New English translation by Jacques Bromberg
—Latin text on facing pages
—An essay, "The Delights of a Roving Mind" by Owen Gingerich
—An essay, "On The Six-Cornered Snowflake" by Guillermo Bleichmar
—Snowflake illustrations by Capi Corrales Rodriganez
—John Frederick Nims' poem "The Six-Cornered Snowflake"
—Notes by Jacques Bromberg and Guillermo Bleichmar