A storm glass is a novelty that was once believed capable of forecasting bad weather, but we now know its simply a mesmerizing thermal reaction, similar to a lava lamp.
Inside the hermetically sealed glass is a supersaturated solution of camphor, ethanol, ammonium chloride, potassium nitrate, and distilled water. This solution can form crystals of various patterns and quantities.
The premise of the storm glass is that changing weather affects the solubility of the mixture which, it was believed, produces crystals in strange shapes, or causes existing crystals to melt back into solution.
In fact, Admiral and pioneering meteorologist Robert FitzRoy used the storm glass as commander of the HMS Beagle on Charles Darwin’s scientific voyage and wrote about its storm-predicting ability. After a deadly storm in 1859, they gained popularity when “FitzRoy’s storm barometers” were installed in ports around England.
Despite often being wrong, claims of the storm glass’ forecasting abilities persist to this day. But exactly what’s going on inside was largely unknown until a recent study in which scientists observed the effects of various atmospheric forces on storm glass crystal formation.
They found that the pattern and quantity of crystals were almost entirely the result of temperature, or more precisely, temperature variations over the past several days. Large changes in temperature, often associated with turbulent weather, tend to produce unique crystal formations in the solution.
Dimensions: 2.5” x 2.5” x 5.25”
Solid beechwood base
Collections containing this item: Bestsellers | Chemistry | Hydrology | Items ≤ $20 | Meteorology | Newest Listings | Physics | Physicsfun |
A cool gift for a 14 year old with interest in science.
My grandfather loved it!
This storm glass is exceptionally fun to watch change throughout the day. Each time I walk into my office, I make sure to check the storm glass. Personally, I like the smaller sized one I bought. I thought it would still be visually mesmerising without overpowering the space of my small desk. I was correct. Good purchase.
I am very happy with the experience in shopping with The Stemcell Science Shop. The packaging of this product is really nice and I know my recipient will enjoy this unique gift.
I love my storm glass, I check it for changes every day. Just a bit of fun to start the day. Not something you see everywhere, so it’s a great conversation starter when it lives on your desk.
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