Lost In Space – Tour of Our Solar System – #2 Venus

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Magellan Arrives at Venus

Magellan Arrives at Venus

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          Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Welcome to the second article in this series ‘Lost In Space – Solar System Tour – #2 Venus’. First, I would like to express my ‘Thanks’ to the NASA/JPL Magellan Team & Web Site[2] for all of the images shown here, today. Let’s start out with some of the basic facts and figures about our ‘Sister Planet’ Venus.Venus is named after the Roman Goddess of Love and Beauty. Babylonians in 1581 BCE did the first known observations of Venus. Previously known as both the ‘Morning Star’ and the ‘Evening Star’ it was the Babylonians that discovered that they were one in the same.

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Venus is known as the ‘Sister Planet’ of Earth. This is due to the fact that Venus is closest to Earth in; size, orbit of the sun, gravity and bulk composition. Venus orbits the sun in just 224.7 days. Now, most planets in our solar system rotate, on their axis, in an anti-clockwise direction, also known as a retrograde rotation or ‘orbit’. Further, Venus rotates the slowest of all the planets taking a full 243 Earth Days to complete on rotation. That means that a single day on Venus would last 243 days.[3]

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All of the images of Venus, here in this article, are the product of the Magellan project. Taken by Magellan’s cameras, during its mapping of 98% of the surface of Venus, in the four years it spent in orbit. In 1994 NASA directed the Magellan spacecraft to plunge to the surface of Venus. This was done so that the Magellan spacecraft to make atmospheric observations, on its way to the surface. Of all the planets in our solar system, we have the most complete map of the surface of Venus, thanks to the Magellan spacecraft (shown in the artist rendition of Magellan arriving at Venus at the top of the page) .

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Venus - Computer Simulated Global View of the Northern Hemisphere

Venus – Computer Simulated Global View of the Northern Hemisphere

(Venus – Computer Simulated Global View of the Northern Hemisphere)[4]

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The image above is a computer-simulated view of the Northern Hemisphere of Venus. At the very center of the image, we see Venus’ North Pole. This image was produced by, and here in thanks to, the Solar System Visualization Project and the Magellan Science team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Multimission Image Processing Laboratory.

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My Dear Readers, I must admit that when I came to the Magellan web site, at NSA/JPL, I was simply amazed at the detail of the images I saw. I am very pleased to have these images to share with you, My Dear Readers, today in this the second edition of my Tour of Our Solar System thanks to the ‘Lost In Space’ series. The next two images were some of the first that I saw, and downloaded. I had never, really, looked at… seen the hemispheres of planet other than Earth. In this first image we seen the Hemispheric View of Venus centered on the North Pole.

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Hemispheric View of Venus Centered at the North Pole

Hemispheric View of Venus Centered at the North Pole

(Hemispheric View of Venus Centered at the North Pole)[5]

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Our next image is the computer generated hemispheric view of Venus centered on the South Pole. Ok… My Dear Readers, I am just simply amazed at the; level of detail, contrast, depth of view and…. Well… just the entirety of the view of the top and bottom half of the planet of Venus. I just had to share these views with you, My Dear Readers. I really do hope that you enjoy these images just as much as I do. They are really fantastic!

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Hemispheric View of Venus Centered at the South Pole

Hemispheric View of Venus Centered at the South Pole

(Hemispheric View of Venus Centered at the South Pole)[6]

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I know… gonna be kind if difficult to follow those images. Yet, My Dear Readers, I do believe that I have just the thing! Venus has some of the highest mountains and volcanoes in our solar system. Just for you, My Dear Readers, I have a wonderful three-dimensional image of the second tallest volcano on the surface of Venus, Maat Mons. Maat Mons is also the second highest mountain on the surface of Venus. Rising to nearly five miles above the mean surface of Venus!

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Venus - Three Dimensional Perspective View of Maat Mons

Venus – Three Dimensional Perspective View of Maat Mons

(Venus – Three Dimensional Perspective View of Maat Mons)[7]

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Now, not to be outdone by mountains and volcanoes, Venus has some pretty impressive scars. (see image below)The majority of the surface of Venus is marked by volcanic flows. One such volcanic flow mars the surface of Venus. Measuring 81 feet in depthand twenty-five miles wide the Sag Caldera ‘Sachs Patera is a huge feature on the surface of Venus. Created by a chamber of molten material, that drained and collapsed, forming a huge depression. Concentric scarps that are spaced 1.2 to 3 miles apart surround this depression.

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Sag Caldera 'Sachs Patera

Sag Caldera ‘Sachs Patera

(Sag Caldera ‘Sachs Patera)[8]

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For your viewing pleasure, My Dear Readers, next we go back up! Our next image is a computer enhancement of radar imaging of the volcano ‘Sapas Mons’. Spas is named after the Canaanite sun goddess, Shapash (‘Torch of the Gods’). This volcano measures, at its widest point, 250 miles across and climbs to the height of 0.93 miles. Now, My Dear Readers, I have included just one image of this wonder of the surface of Venus. However, as I did my research to write a little about this feature, I found that there are many beautiful images of this volcano. So, if you are of the mind. When you are finished reading this article, all you need to is ‘Google’ (verbing my nouns, again) the name ‘Sapas Mons’ to enjoy the many splendid images of this volcano. Enjoy!

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False Color Image of Volcano Sapas Mons

False Color Image of Volcano Sapas Mons

(False Color Image of Volcano Sapas Mons)[9]

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Well, My Dear Readers, that brings us to our last image of Venus, thanks (again) to the NASA/JPL spacecraft Magellan. For our final images I have saved one of the best for the last. I really wish that I was able (allowed) to bring you these images in full resolution. This being a ‘free’ blog, I have limitations on the size and resolution I am allowed to share. One day… I have a dream… to have my own blog! When/if that time comes, I will be sure to go back and share these wonderful images in the full splendor. Till then, below is a wonderful image of Ovda Regio. Low lands to the north of Ovda Regio, the major feature is a Shield Volcano that bears a striking resemblance of Mount St. Helen’s.

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Magellan's Perspective View of Ovda Regio

Magellan’s Perspective View of Ovda Regio

(Magellan’s Perspective View of Ovda Regio)[10]

 

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You know… My Dear Readers… I started this ‘Tour of Our Solar System’ to help build your appreciation for our solar system. That was my ‘goal’. Yet, in the process… something different has happened. I find myself in awe. In awe of the wonders and beauty that make up the solar system our earth, belongs. We are but tiny specs, on the surface of this earth. Yet, we hold the potential to venture to, and walk on all of these surfaces! As humans… and as Americans I feel that we owe it to future generations to make the effort(s) necessary to venture to these far-flung relatives of Earth.

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What a crime it would be… to deprive, our children and our children’s children, of the joy of discovery. The joy, and the wonder, that is our universe, our Solar System. Toosimply, out of avarice, rob future generations of these discoveries has to be the greatest crime this generation has committed against another, and against mankind.

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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The Other Shoe eBay Store

The Other Shoe eBay Store

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http://www.ebay.com/usr/enzomatrixlt

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Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe - May 6th, 2014

Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe – May 6th, 2014

Notes From Behind the Keyboard – June 16th, 2014

Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe - May 6th, 2014

Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe – May 6th, 2014

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Welcome back My Dear Reader to The Other Shoe. It is Monday, June 16th, 2014 and about 5:15PM PDT. About an hour ago, I was dropped off here at home, after spending most of today… in the hospital. Honestly, this was not the way I had planned spending today. My original plan called for several hours, broken up into hour to 90 minute sections, writing several articles for publication later this week. Reality had other plans for me, and my time. It all started about 3AM this morning.

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I am having problems… breathing at night. It is difficult to describe, even though I just spent nearly twelve hours explaining it to four different doctors. I awake, in the middle of the night, gasping for air. Many times I awake to dizziness… and even tunnel vision. My first impression is that I have been smothered. Yes, and you wonder why I started writing horror. I awake, usually around 2AM to 4AM, and I feel like I am: A) Unable to breath and/or B) I have not been breathing. The loud gasping, and cries for help (too), generally awake Allen from his (usual) deep (almost catatonic) sleep.

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Yet, today was different. I was extremely panicked upon waking and asked Allen to “turn on the lights… something is wrong!” Much to my chagrin, and Allen’s surprise, when he turned on the lights he discovered that my lips were blue… as was much of my facial complexion. So much so that Allen (usually stoic… almost indifferent) actually gasped when he looked at my face, with the light turned on. Allen then informed me “Danny… I think you stopped breathing. I heard you gasping, again, and I got up to wake you up.” Allen is visibly… shaken; this gave me the chills because Allen just doesn’t show emotions, like, ever.

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So, I ask Allen “what’s wrong… you seem… shaken.” To which Allen responds “Danny, your lips are blue… your face is… bluish. I think we need to get you somewhere… like to an ER.” Totally uncharacteristic, yet not unexpected. Upon waking, I found myself experiencing tunnel vision and dizziness. The dizziness is not that uncommon, for my bouts of waking to gasping for air. The tunnel vision is much more infrequent. It is then that I realize that I am shaking and freezing cold. I ask Allen to get me a blanket… and “well Allen… you are the one that has to work in a few hours… you would be the one to have to get me home, afterwards. What do you think we should do?”

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Allen comes back into the front room, with a blanket, and he tells me that the blue lips and face, he has never seen that with me before, we should go to the ER. Now, My Dear Readers, I will be completely honest and forthright, I would rather chew off my own left leg than sit in an emergency room (in southern California) in the middle of the night. However, if one is to visit an ER in Southern California? It would be best to do so, in the middle of the night. Honestly, the emergency rooms of the major hospitals in Southern California (from North Hollywood to South Orange County) are packed 24/7/365. This has yet to change, since the passage of the health care reform.

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I would estimate that nearly 40% to 60% of Southern California residents still use the emergency rooms as the primary means of health care services. I am still hoping that changes… in my lifetime. Anyways, Allen goes and gets Alexander out of his cage, and hands him to me. (That is never a ‘Good Sign’ it means that Allen thinks I need claming down). Then Allen gets my cell phone and calls 911. I am sitting there, trying to focus on Alexander. He is darting around the bed, acting in a frantic and confused manner. Granted, we are never awake at 3:30AM so Alexander is upset by this drastic change in our life-pattern.

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I am listening to Allen, on the phone; he is explaining my current medical condition, what we woke up to… “blue lips… his face was blue… yes… his hands were also kind of blue… Yes, he is on ___ and ___ and ___.” Allen is giving them my current diagnosis, medications, and why he is calling. Then I hear him tell the operator “yes… he needs a power chair to get around… no, we can leave it if there is a wheelchair at the hospital we can use… I will get him ready for moving.” Then Allen hangs up.

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He comes over to the bed, starts petting Alexander with me, and explains that a ambulance is being dispatched and that I am going to the emergency room. Well, I am not going in my pajamas! I have Allen get out some blue jeans and a hoodie. Not pajamas, but I am not dressing up to go to an ER in the middle of the night. Allen helps me get off my pajamas, and into the blue jeans and sweat/hoodie. Alexander is trying to ride my shoulder, the whole time. Since Allen put him in bed with me, he has yet to leave my side. Right now it is about 3:45AM this morning, and I am still feeling dizzy and the tunnel vision has yet to resolve completely.

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First to arrive is a fire truck, with horns and sirens blazing at 4AM. Great, everybody in the building is going to thank me, for the Monday morning 4AM wake-up call. Groovy! Two firemen in coveralls come into the room, Allen opened the front door when he got off the phone with 911. They ask tons of questions, what I cannot answer Allen does. It is obvious that I have awaken these gentlemen in the middle of the night. They are very professional, but obviously just awaken. I hand Alexander to Allen and tell him that is time for Alex to get back to bed. Heck, the firemen hadn’t even noticed Alex until I was handing him to Allen.

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Suddenly they are asking if “Alex sleeps in bed with me… has he bit you?” and start looking all over my hands and legs. No, Alexander (rarely if ever) does not sleep with me… no, he has never bitten me. They do the blood pressure, as Allen is explaining my blue lips, face and hands. One of the firemen grabs my left hand and squeezes my fingers. “Does that hurt?” To which I respond… not in several years, I have limited feeling in my left hand, foot and leg… Now, the fireman that was testing my left arm for feeling grabs my left hand and begins pushing down on my finger tips, of all the fingers on my left hand.

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Press down, hold, lift off and watch. Repeat procedure to all four fingers and my thumb. He looks up at the other fireman in the room, there are several more standing just outside the doorway, and asks for the portable pulse oximeter. FYI this is the thingy they clip on your finger, in the hospital, that kind of looks like a clothes pin. It measures your pulse rate and the oxygenation of your blood.

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The other fireman tells him “Never mind, we can get that reading on the way, we are taking him in.” JOY! I am making a trip to a hospital emergency room at 4AM on a Monday morning. This is a great start to my week! My Dear Readers, want to know what my immediate thought was, upon hearing I was headed to the ER? (Thinking to myself) GREAT! Just great… now I am going to be behind schedule all week!’ FYI, I was/am right, it is 6:00PM PDT and I have yet to publish for Monday!

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For the next 10-12 hours I am shuffled from; ambulance to ER stretcher, from stretcher to ER bed, from ER bed to X-Ray table – back to stretcher, from stretcher to observation table in a triage/treatment room (evidently, at one point shortly after I got there, I just “dusky looking” and they moved me to a treatment room), back to a curtained room back on a stretcher in the ER. I saw several doctors and nurses. I was given medications for pain, an inhaler, an IV, and injections for pain medications. They took blood, several times.

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First blush? They just knew that I had “abused his pain medications…” and that was the reason. They took several blood samples, and urine. Tests come back, no ‘street drugs’ and my serum levels for my pain medications were “well within normal levels”. (My ‘two cents’ when they found out that I had not ‘abused my pain medications’… somebody should have said… they were wrong and sorry for jumping to the conclusion I was a drug abuser’). I did not get anything to eat until afternoon, and I mean well ‘after noon’ about 2PM.

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I was released at 4PM and did not have the money for a taxi… home. Allen… Allen had to help me; get out to a bus stop, transfer me to the bus stop bench from the wheelchair, take wheelchair back inside the hospital, wait for bus with me, transfer me from bench to bus seat (that was… as humiliating and it was painful), transfer me off the bus on to another bus bench (by the apartment), go into the apartment and get our back-up wheelchair, transfer from bench to wheelchair… home. I got in the apartment and the first thing I noticed was I reeked of hospital… and bus. Allen got me cleaned up, then got himself ready to go to work.

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Right now, Allen is at work at his second job. He had to ‘call-in’ to his first job this morning. I feel badly for putting him through all this, making him miss a day of work… and drag me all around God’s green earth. After nearly twelve hours in an emergency room and dozens of test and several doctors? I was told “We are not sure just why this is happening to you Mr. Hanning. We are sending the results to your primary care doctor in Palos Verdes, you should call him in the next few days… he may want to put you on oxygen.”

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Nobody told me what, if anything, they saw on the chest X-Ray. Nobody told me what they thought was the reason I am waking up at night unable to breath. I was told that my pain medications were not “to blame” and that I was using them as directed and not taking too much. That will give no small amount of comfort to Dr. Gorlick. I knew that wasn’t the problem, from the get-go.

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My Dear Readers, I really wanted a head-start to writing and publishing this week. I am feeling very good about; my writing, the articles, my first venture into the horror genre, and my blog in general. That is the major reason for this article, today. I dislike missing days I publish. I do not like leaving you, My Dear Readers, in the dark. Tonight… well, I really am not feeling well enough to start writing for tomorrow.

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Allen is at work, and I am going to try and get some rest. Tomorrow, I have planned to call my doctor and then get busy writing the second edition of ‘Lost In Space – Our Solar System Tour!’. Tomorrow I hope to publish the edition featuring Venus. Then, with any amount of luck, I will be back on schedule for writing and publishing the rest of this week’s line up of articles.

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My Dear Readers, yes I am unnerved by the events of the past twelve hours. Yet, I am not going to let them get inside my head and have a negative impact on my writing and publications. I am even working out (in my head) this week’s episode of ‘The Horror in Smithville’. We left Timmy and Archer at the school, being approached by Gary Bartusk, their ‘School Bully’. I am not about to leave them hanging, and I hope to have them back home and safe by the end of the episode Friday evening.

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That brings this edition of ‘Notes From Behind the Keyboard’ to an end. I am happy to be home, and not still in a hospital. I look forward to seeing you, right here, at The Other Shoe!

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe - May 6th, 2014

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