Lost in Space – Dawn at Ceres – June 23rd 2015

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Ceres Moving GIF

Ceres Moving GIF

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Welcome back My Dear Shoevians to The Other Shoe. Well, it has been nearly two weeks since last I published, and for that I apologize. The pain in my; neck, back, arms and hands has just been off the charts for the past three months. I keep promising that I will publish a regular schedule, and then my the reality of my condition weighs in and I am left apologizing for my shortcomings. This time? I will make no promises, I will just do the best I can and publish the best and as often as I can.

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Just because I am not writing, and publishing, doesn’t mean that I am not; watching, reading and taking notice. Just in the past week two events of significant note. First, Pope Francis has released an encyclical on… … … (wait for it)… … CLIMATE CHANGE! Yes, it was quite the bombshell in American politics. Further, this was not just some note on Catholic teachings, this was a One Hundred Ninety-Two page document! I really wanted to dig into this document, this week, but time and pain have pushed that back to another time. I will download the encyclical and read it, then I will write and publish my findings for you, My Dear Shoevians.

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Second, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is continuing its surveillance of the Dwarf Planet Ceres. You might remember that, several weeks ago, Dawn returned some intriguing images, of Ceres, showing bright shinny objects glowing on the surface. Dawn grows closer and closer, and just yesterday, returned images with clarity… and raising more questions. Therefore, I have decided to make my return edition of ‘Lost in Space’ about the Dawn spacecraft and the Dwarf Planet Ceres. Here we go, enjoy!

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Dawn's Arrival at Dwarf Planet

Dawn’s Arrival at Dwarf Planet

[2]

(Dawn’s Arrival at Dwarf Planet)

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First a little about the Dawn orbiter and the mission in general. From the beginning the whole Dawn mission, at NASA/JPL, was fraught with difficulties, starts, and stops. The xenon ion thrusters[3] used by Dawn were the very first of their kind to be used by NASA. Based on the ion thruster technology pioneered for the Deep Space 1 spacecraft. The technological hurdles were not the only obstructions to the Dawn mission. From inception Dawn was cancelled, put in “Stand Down” mode and then only finally reinstated when Orbital Sciences Corporation offered to build the orbiter “for cost”.

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Dawn Mission Patch

Dawn Mission Patch

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(Dawn Mission Patch)

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Dawn was launched on September 27th, 2007 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17-B. It was not until just recently that Dawn moved form its relative obscurity to the front pages of news June 6th, 20145. This happened when Dawn first caught an image of the unexplained “bright Spots” on the Ceres’ surface. The Dawn spacecraft was suddenly thrust into the limelight with its accidental discovery.

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Dawn Survey Orbit Image 9

Dawn Survey Orbit Image 9

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(Dawn Survey Orbit Image 9)

From Web Site – “A variety of craters and other geological features can be found on dwarf planet Ceres. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft took this image of Ceres from an altitude of 2,700 miles (4,400 kilometers). The image, with a resolution of 1,400 feet (410 meters) per pixel, was taken on June 5, 2015.”[6]

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The internet and all the conspiracy blogs came to life and everyone had their own opinion on just what these “Bright spots” were and why they had never been seen before. Now, as if Ceres and Dawn had suddenly become aware of their social status, on June 11tr, 2015 images of the same area now showed a “pyramid-like structure”. This is when I decided that it was time for me to come out of my medical hiatus and take some time to research this topic. My Dear Shoevians, I am sure that you have noticed, by now, that I am not weaving my context around the images I am sharing… as I have done on every other edition of ‘Lost in Space’ and ‘The Mars Report’ to date. I have done this in purpose, and for a very good reason.

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Dawn Survey Orbit Image 10

Dawn Survey Orbit Image 10

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(Dawn Survey Orbit Image 10)

From Web Site – “This image, taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, shows an intriguing mountain on dwarf planet Ceres protruding from a relatively smooth area. Scientists estimate that this structure rises about 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the surface. Dawn captured this image from an altitude of 2,700 miles (4,400 kilometers). The image, with a resolution of 1,400 feet (410 meters) per pixel, was taken on June 14, 2015.”[8]

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The images I am sharing are interesting… nothing more. From a scientific viewpoint, this is nothing mystical or mysterious. This is just a natural phenomenon with which we have yet to encounter. I have heard and read many fantastical and wild theories about the “bright spots”. I am unimpressed. Everything from “a crashed spacecraft of an extraterrestrial life form headed to earth” to “an unknown phosphorescent life form”. I will be quite frank with you, My Dear Shoevians. This is neither and ‘none of the above’.

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Dawn Survey Orbit Image 6

Dawn Survey Orbit Image 6

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(Dawn Survey Orbit Image 6)

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More than likely if it is a spacecraft? It is likely one of ours that we have lost track of, that crashed when trying to make it through the Kuiper Belt. This is a very dense asteroid belt, even more dense and populated than the asteroid belt that separates our terrestrial planets from our gas giants. I am more than happy to take advantage of all the excitement to drive traffic to my blog.

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(Dawn Fly-Over Ceres – NASA/JPL)

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However, I refuse to get caught up in idle and uninformed postulation about something we know little to nothing about. And like our news cycle will leave this mystery in the dust, Dawn is now leaving Ceres behind. By the end of the summer, only the devout nutcases will still be talking about the “bright lights on Ceres”. I know I won’t.

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THE Image of Ceres from Dawn – “Bright Spots”

THE Image of Ceres from Dawn – “Bright Spots”

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(THE Image of Ceres from Dawn – “Bright Spots”)

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I hope that everyone has enjoyed the; images, moving GIF and the video I have shared here today. I encourage ALL of YOU My Dear Shoevians to comment on this article. Discuss these lights objects and the “pyramid like structure”. I would like to hear everyone’s ideas and thoughts. This is the kind of news that helps get American’s eyes back on the stars! We need more and more of these types of stories. As I have said before, and will say again and again,

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“Earth is mankind’s cradle, it was never meant to be our grave!”

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Our final image of the day is the best! Below you can see a map of the surface of Ceres as made by composites of images taken form Dawn.

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Dawn Map of Ceres – False Color

Dawn Map of Ceres – False Color

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(Dawn Map of Ceres – False Color)

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Thank you!

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Adieu!

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Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

© 2010 – 2015 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

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Lost in Space – Cassini – June 10th, 2015

Herschel's View of G49 Filament

Herschel’s View of G49 Filament

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(Herschel’s View of G49 Filament)

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Welcome back MY Dear Shoevians to The Other Shoe. Today I have a wonderful edition of ‘Lost in Space’ to share with all of you. This edition features NASA’s ‘Cassini’ project. We start today’s edition with the wondrous image above taken at the Herschel Space Observatory at the California Institute of Technology. This striking image is of a huge filamentary structures of gas and dust, within our Milky Way Galaxy, named G49.

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While consisting of nothing more than gas and G49 stretches 280 light-years in length with a diameter that is only about 5 light-years across. It is amazing to image that this one filament, within our own galaxy, contains an equivalent mass of 80,000 suns! When we view these interstellar phenomenon, we begin to realize, though our planet’s construction is complete? Our solar system and our galaxy are in a continuous state of flux, birth and rebirth. Kind of makes a person think, right?

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 Cassini CIRS MIssion Patch

Cassini CIRS MIssion Patch

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(Mission Patch for the Cassini CIRS)

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Now, on to the main subject of today’s edition of ‘Lost in Space’. The Cassini project started, on the drawing table, in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It was to be the single most ambitious space project, headed to Saturn, in the history of NASA. For astronomers Saturn, and its moon Titan, sparks the imagination. The most mysterious of the Jovian/Gas Giant planets, Saturn has been the focus of scientific debate. From the rings of Saturn to its thirty-year0long storms, to the odd shaped moons to Titan. Saturn is at the center of much science fiction, and fantasy. Cassini was the mission to pull back the veil on Saturn, and Titan.

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Saturn

Saturn

(Saturn)

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Cassini was not only one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by NASA/, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI). It was the one of the largest, and the second heaviest, non-manned spacecraft ever launched. Standing to a height of more than 22 feet (6.7 meters) and 13.1 wide (4 meters) Cassini was an enormous spacecraft. The total weight, at launch, of both the Cassini spacecraft and the Huygens probe was 12,539 pounds (5,712 kilograms). Only the Former Soviet Union-made (two) Phobos spacecraft weighed more, at the time of launch. Cassini was launched October 15, 1997, at 4:43 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (0843 Universal Time) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a Titan IVB/Centaur launch system – the most powerful launch vehicle in the U.S. fleet.

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Cassini Spacecraft

Cassini Spacecraft

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(Cassini Spacecraft)

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Ok… … … All of you, My Dear Shoevians, all know and understand that I (Danny Hanning-Author/Editor/Researcher/Publisher) am a truthful a person as one could possibly ever meet, right? You have learned of my physical disabilities, just as soon as the get worse. Know when I ran an Indiegogo Campaign for my needed power chair, since I drag my left foot and can barely walk. Know when I was diagnosed with cancer, and what type. You, My Dear Shoevians, know I am truthful and that I will always tell you the truth.

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I started this article on June 5th, 2015 (Friday) for publication last week. Well, on Friday there were problems with availability (for publication) at my primary blog location (www.theothershoe.blog.com). Here it is Monday June 8th, 2015 the following Monday. I got to my blog location, hoping to be able to upload my Mars and Cassini images, and find that it is still ‘down’. (Meaning I am getting ‘502’ and ‘504’ page errors. I’ve checked it is their server and not me). That leaves me with; publishing today’s ‘The Mars Report’ at my other two ‘secondary/tertiary locations.

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I am not happy about this situation. I am now behind-the-eightball’ for nearly two dozen images to upload, uploading two articles, and embedding those two dozen images into the two articles. All that has to be done, prior to my publication at my primary blog location. This leads to frustration, and adds to the obstacles between me and my goal of publishing ‘tri-blog’ as it where. Just wanted to let all of you, My Dear Shoevians, know there are difficulties and I am working to correct them. I hope, that within the next couple of days, the problem at Blog.com will get resolved. Once that happens I will publish all missing articles, and announce the publication on all social media. Now, as they say in the entertainment industry, “On with the show!”

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, there are not a lot of color images that are coming back from Cassini. The black/white images are of the highest quality and are HD in resolution. They are just not in color, and I wanted to warn all of you of that fact. In our next image we see something that had the NASA/JPL scientists scratching their heads for months. When taking passing images of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, they witnessed a phenomenon of unexplained origin. Check it out!

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Icy Tendrils Reaching into Saturn’s Ring Traced to Their Source

Icy Tendrils Reaching into Saturn’s Ring Traced to Their Source

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(Icy Tendrils Reaching into Saturn’s Ring Traced to Their Source)

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These long and sinuous threads, that stretch from somewhere near/around Enceladus to Saturn’s rings. Above are some of the best images of these threads, along with a computer simulation that allowed the scientists to figure out where they originate. Enceladus. It seems that evidence proves that these tendrils originate from geysers erupting on the surface of Enceladus. Icy and very strong geysers shooting blasts of sediment, rock and dust from the surface of Enceladus to the rings of Saturn.

 

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“We’ve been able to show that each unique tendril structure can be reproduced by particular sets of geysers on the moon’s surface,” said Colin Mitchell, a Cassini imaging team associate at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and lead author of the paper. Mitchell and colleagues used computer simulations to follow the trajectories of

ice grains ejected from individual geysers. The geysers, which were discovered by Cassini in 2005, are jets of tiny water ice particles, water vapor and simple organic compounds.”[5]

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For our next image I have found, and prepared, a moving GIF. This is a series of several images stacked by an image processing program so that it appears in one frame, and in sequence. I like using GIFs, in my blogs, as they add a little flare and entertainment to scientific material. Today’s GIF is of Saturn’s second largest moon Rhea passing overhead of Saturn’s fourth largest moon, Dione. What makes this image… amusing? Rhea is a larger moon than Dione, yet in this image Dione is in the foreground and looks much larger! Here is “Dione Dwarfing Rhea”

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Dione Dwarfing Rhea

Dione Dwarfing Rhea

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(Dione Dwarfing Rhea)

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HYPERION-

Gotta be, hands down, the single funkiest shaped moon, like, ever! This from a guy that was looking at images of the moons of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in my family’s Encyclopedia Britannica as a boy of 8 and ten years old. I’ve seen icy moons, I’ve seen blue moons, I’ve seen shimmering moons and I’ve seen red moons. However, never before in my life have I seen a moon that looks like a peanut! Well. My Dear Shoevians, you are about to see the moon Hyperion for yourself. Tell me, what do you think?

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Hyperion

Hyperion

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(Hyperion)

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Hyperion was discovered by by William Cranch Bond, George Phillips Bond and William Lassell in 1848. These men first noticed that not only was it irregularly shaped but also that it kept an erratic and irregular (even chaotic) orbit with Saturn. It was Cassini’s imaging that brought it’s sponge-like surface into full focus. Imaging and sounding from Hyperion shows that it has an unusually low density and very porous surface. That gives Hyperion a very low gravitational pull, resulting in impact craters show impacting rather than excavating material on impact. Our next image is a false-color image created by NASA/JPL to reflect how it should look in color images.

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False-Color View of Hyperion

False-Color View of Hyperion

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(False-Color View of Hyperion)

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On May 31st, 2015 (just days ago, when I wrote this article) Cassini passed within 21,000 miles from the surface of Hyperion. TO us, that seems like kind of a long distance 21,000 miles. However, in space? In space that 21,000 miles is nearly too close. For our imaging systems and hardware, this gives us a unique opportunity to gain real clarity thanks to the short distance. This was Cassini’s final flyby of the moon Hyperion. Therefore, this was Canssini’s ‘Farwell Image of Hyperion’.

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assini Sends Final Close Views of Odd Moon Hyperion

assini Sends Final Close Views of Odd Moon Hyperion

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(Cassini Sends Final Close Views of Odd Moon Hyperion)

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TITAN-

For decades mankind has wondered at Titan. The largest of all of Saturn’s many many moons, even from Earth Titan has a yellowish/green surface. Titan is the only moon of Saturn that has dense atmosphere and stable bodies of liquid on the surface. That last one there; “stable body of liquid on the surface”? That one give Titan the distinction of being the only ‘other’ planet than EARTH! Have I peaked your curiosity?

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Good, because until Cassini scientists have been left with speckled images of the surface of Titan.

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        “Typically, Cassini’s radar images have a characteristic grainy appearance. This “speckle noise” can make it difficult for scientists to interpret small-scale features or identify changes in images of the same area taken at different times. Despeckling uses an algorithm to modify the noise, resulting in clearer views that can be easier for researchers to interpret.”[10]

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Here is the despeckling of Titan!

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A New Way to View Titan 'Despeckle' It

A New Way to View Titan ‘Despeckle’ It

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(A New Way to View Titan ‘Despeckle’ It)

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SATURN-

The second largest planet in our solar system, Sol. Saturn is second in size only to Jupiter. A Jovian planet it is a Gas Giant thought to have no surface or a very small surface at the center under tremendous gravitational pull. Saturn has a long standing mystery that adds to its scientific appeal and popularity among younger and junior astronomers and scientists. The mystery of Saturn is the reason/cause for the (well documented by 140 years of telescope observations) enormous seething storms seen every 30 years on the surface. Mankind has been witness to the start of the enormous storms six times in that 140-year period.

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When I say “Enormous’, My Dear Shoevians, I really and genuinely mean enormous. In that they tend to fill entire bands of the atmosphere, fully 1/3 of a hemisphere in size. Saturn is 95 times larger than earth, so these bands would be wide in miles than the diameter of Earth! In my lifetime I have witnessed three different storms on the planet Saturn. The third, and last, started in August of 2010 and ended in August 2011. Considering the next super-enormous storm will appear on Saturn’s surface in 2041, this will be my last storm.

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Thank Goodness that NASA/JPL had Cassini in the immediate neighborhood during this last super-enormous storm! I am still looking for a good GIF for the even, but have yet to find one. If I don’t find one in the next few months I will make one of my own, and share it in a feature edition of ‘Lost in Space’. Here is a series of six images of the surface of Saturn, during the last Thrity-Year Super-Enormous Storm.

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View of Saturn's Violent 30 Year Storms

View of Saturn’s Violent 30 Year Storms

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(View of Saturn’s Thirty-Year Violent Storms – Northern Hemisphere)

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As Cassini initially headed for these icy moons, it took some parting pictures of Rhea as it passed within close range. Our next images are framed as one and show two of the best images Cassini took with its last glimpses of this icy giant. Rhea- Rhea is the second largest moon of Saturn, second only to Titan, and is the ninth largest moon in our entire solar system. The images, below, are some of the best images ever taken of Saturn’s moon, Rhea.

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Rhea-Saturn Spacecraft Returns to the Realm of Icy Moons

Rhea-Saturn Spacecraft Returns to the Realm of Icy Moons

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(Rhea-Saturn Spacecraft Returns to the Realm of Icy Moons)

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Well, My Dear Shoevians, we come to the end of this edition of ‘Lost in Space’. I am pleased to inform you that you have just; read, witnessed, wondered, smiled and viewed the most recent ‘Gargantuan’ edition of Lost in Space’! That particular article designation is saved for use by editions only numbering greater than fifteen pages, when written, and contain twelve or more images. BINGO! This article, prior to editing and upload, numbers 15 right now… I still have the last image… …. My parting words… … the copyright… … logo is coming soon… … an image of me… … YES! It will easily be 17 pages when I upload this puppy!

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‘The Best for Last!’ Should be the motto for both article series; ‘The Mars Report’ and “Lost in Space’. Today shall be no exception for, right here and right now, I have for you the single most stunning… the single most incredible… … the single Best Image of the Edition!

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Saturn's C and B Rings From the Inside Out

Saturn’s C and B Rings From the Inside Out

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(Saturn’s C and B Rings From the Inside Out)

FYI

[This image was taken with the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph instrument, which is capable of resolving the rings to show features up to 97 kilometers (60 miles) across, roughly 100 times the resolution of ultraviolet data obtained by the Voyager 2 spacecraft.]

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Awesome. Just frigging awesome. Right there, My Dear Shoevians, that image right there is the why I; research, upload, link, write, edit and publish ‘The Mars Report’ and ‘Lost in Space’ here at The Other Shoe. If, in the past five years of publication, I manage to get to an image like this one to a; thousand, hundred, dozens of people from all around the world that might not, have. If not for me. THAT IS WHY! J

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As always it is my pleasure to bring this material and images to you My Dear Shoevians. If you have enjoyed your time spent here? Please tell others. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell your co-workers. Tell you In-Laws. That is how we grow.

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Thank you!

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Adieu!

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Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

© 2010 – 2015 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

 

[1] http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA19340

[2] http://spacepioneers.msu.edu/logos/logos_design_camp.html

[3] http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/infographics/uploads/infographics/full/10735.gif

[4] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/icy-tendrils-reaching-into-saturn-ring-traced-to-their-source

[5] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/icy-tendrils-reaching-into-saturn-ring-traced-to-their-source

[6] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/pia18319/dione-dwarfing-rhea

[7] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/pia17193/farewell-to-hyperion

[8] http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07740

[9] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini-sends-final-close-views-of-odd-moon-hyperion

[10] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/a-new-way-to-view-titan-despeckle-it

[11] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/a-new-way-to-view-titan-despeckle-it

[12] http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4546

[13] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/cassini/saturn-spacecraft-returns-to-the-realm-of-icy-moons

[14] http://www.nasa.gov/content/saturns-c-and-b-rings-from-the-inside-out

The Mars Report – June 8th, 2015

Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Mojave' Site on Mount Sharp

Curiosity Self-Portrait at ‘Mojave’ Site on Mount Sharp

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(Curiosity Self-Portrait at ‘Mojave’ Site on Mount Sharp)

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Welcome back My Dear Shoevians to The Other Shoe. As I promised last week, I am going to give it my very best to provide a full week’s worth of material and regular articles. Starting, today, with this full edition of ‘The Mars Report ’at The Other Shoe. Earlier today I started my search for images for this edition, and found that Curiosity has yet to send, of NASA has not processed, any newer images for me to share. Images, that is, from the Martian surface. I sorted through a large amount of RAW images, images that come via navigation, testing, and maneuvering and found them not up to my standards for publication.

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Therefore, I have opted to split this edition between a few images from/of Curiosity and the rest of the edition with images and information about the next NASA/JPL rover Insight[2]! She is still in sterile rooms and undergoing assembly, but NASA is anxious to build support. They are releasing a steady stream of images of the testing and assembly process, and I have some of those images for you, My Dear Shoevians! .

Our very first image, above, is a ‘Selfie’ taken by Curiosity January 2015. IT is a composite of many dozens of images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. I try to start out each and every edition of “The Mars Report’ with an image of the main subject of this series, the Martian rover Curiosity. We Shoevians have been following the sojourn of Curiosity since it’s landing at Bradbury Point August 6th, 2012. That means we will be celebrating its third year, this August, so mark your calendars!

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RAW MastCam Right May 30th 2015

RAW MastCam Right May 30th 2015

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(RAW Image MastCam Right May 30th 2015)

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The image, above, was taken just nine days ago, May 30th 2105, from Curiosity’s MastCam right imager. This shows the ground, to the right, of the rover when last they took positional images. This shows a mixed terrain with sandstone and harder rock outcrops. This image was taken from Mount Sharp as Curiosity descends from the summit.

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RAW MastCam Left May 30th 2015

RAW MastCam Left May 30th 2015

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(RAW Image MastCam Left May 30th 2015)

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Our next image, for today, is from the same MastCam from the Curiosity rover, but it was taken from the right side imager. Again, we can clearly see the mixed terrain of sandstone rock and harder outcrops. When we look at these images, side-by-side, it is easy to imagine that Curiosity is moving down crevice or gully for its decent. These outcrops stretch out higher than the viewing range of the MastCam. These rock faces must stretch over fifteen feet in height. What I wouldn’t give of moving images… a video of Curiosity’s decent, as see from these MastCam images.

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For our next, and final, image of/from Mars I have picked an incredibly impressive image taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on March 309th 2015. Taken with the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, it shows a “fresh” crater on the Martian surface. The crater is “fresh” in geologic terms, but rather old when measured by the human lifespan. This impact carter is located in the the Sirenum Fossae region of Mars.

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Fresh Crater Near Sirenum Fossae Region of Mars

Fresh Crater Near Sirenum Fossae Region of Mars

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(Fresh Crater Near Sirenum Fossae Region of Mars)

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That, My Dear Shoevians, brings us to the end of the first part of today’s edition of ‘The Mars Report’. There is one image, at the end of the article, taken by the Curiosity rover. It is of a Martian Sunset taken from Mount Sharp. Last week’s edition end with the same image, but it was a Gif and you could watch as the sun set over the Martian horizon. Today, we have a solitary image as the sun sets under the horizon. Hang on, that comes at the end of this article.

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Our next several images are all of the upcoming Martian Lander from NASA named ‘Insight’. This will not be a rover like; Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. This spacecraft will land on the Martian surface at a prime location, as scouted by the previous rovers. This location has been picked as most beneficial to the project with the highest concentrations of geologic formations and rock outcrops for analysis.

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Our fist image, in this series, if of the Insight Lander completely deployed, exactly as it will be when it lands on the Martian surface. With its solar array deployed, Insight looks a great deal like some prehistoric bug. One aspect, of the solar arrays, I am sure all of you, My Dear Shoevians, will notice. They look nothing like the solar; sails, shields, and arrays of the past several decades. Solar cell technology has changed, substantially, over the past decade. These solar arrays take full advantage of these changes and improvements. They area called “ gallium arsenide solar array panels”. For more information on the process, materials, and other improvements, click on the embedded link in the name, above. For most of us? The fact that they are dark black and orange, is well enough to know.

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InSight spacecraft solar array deployment

InSight spacecraft solar array deployment

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(InSight Lander in Mars-Surface Configuration)

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Awesome looking, huh? The image of the InSight Lander was taken inside a clean room at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver. These solar arrays were deployed in this test while in the clean room. Can you imagine? You are taking a casual stroll, on the Martian surface, when you come upon this monster? WTH? J

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, we are going to go backward, chronologically speaking, for our next image. I wanted to show the InSight lander with the solar array fully deployed, first. It is visually striking, and helps to drawn in new readers. However, the next image I have for you was actually taken prior to the image above. This image is of the solar array during assembly and prior to the testing that see in our image above.

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`Solar-Array Deployment Test for InSight

Solar-Array Deployment Test for InSight

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(Solar-Array Deployment Test for InSight)

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, we move back even further in time for our next image. This image shows the development team during the initial assembly of the InSight lander in January of 2015. Again, we are in t clean room, with technicians donned in sterile suits and masks. In our next image, of this edition of “The Mars Report’, we see the InSight lander in its initial assembly.

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InSight Lander in Assembly

The InSight lander undergoing assembly in a clean room at Lockheed Martin.

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(InSight Lander in Assembly)

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, let’s get back into the ‘Way-Back Machine’ and move forward in time. Forward past the image that started this half of the article, and forward to January of this year. This is a shot of the InSight lander, completely assembled, and folded into its ‘stowed’ configuration. These are unique images, My Dear Shoevians. Images that NASA always takes, but usually does not release until just prior to a spacecraft’s landing. NASA is working hard to improve overall attention to its projects and accomplishments.

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Lowering Back Shell onto Stowed InSight Lander

The back shell of the InSight spacecraft is lowered onto the lander in a clean room at Lockheed Martin.

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(Lowering Back Shell onto Stowed InSight Lander)

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Well, My Dear Shoevians, that brings us to the end, and close, of this edition of “The Mars Report’. As I indicated, on Facebook, earlier this week you can look forward to; ‘Lost in Space’, ‘News from Around the World’, ‘A week in Review’ and ‘Sunday Funnies’. My cancer surgery will not be until next week… or the week after. So, I am determined to bring as much content to you, My Dear Shoevians, as I can… before I ‘go under the knife’.

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Our last image of the day is a revisit of our closing image from last week’s edition. This is a Martian Sunset as captured by the Curiosity Martian rover. I do not think it will become as iconic as the Earth-set taken on the moon, but who knows?

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Sunset in Mars' Gale Crater Curiosity Image

Sunset in Mars’ Gale Crater Curiosity Image

[10]

(Sunset in Mars’ Gale Crater Curiosity Image)

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As always, My Dear Shoevians, I would like to express my deep and heartfelt “Thanks!” for dropping by and reading my work. If you have enjoyed your visit, be sure to tell others about ‘The Other Shoe’ and ‘The Mars Report’. Your kind words, ‘Shares’ and ‘Likes’ because that is what drives new traffic and more and more Shoevians.

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Thank you! .

Adieu!

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Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

© 2010 – 2015 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

 

[1] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/msl/pia19142

[2] http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/home.cfm

[3] http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/01000/mcam/1000MR0044630480503608E02_DXXX.jpg

[4] http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/01000/mcam/1000ML0044630500405147E01_DXXX.jpg

[5] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/fresh-crater-near-sirenum-fossae-region-of-mars

[6] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/pia19664/insight-lander-in-mars-surface-configuration

[7] http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/pia19665/solar-array-deployment-test-for-insight/

[8] http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/pia19402_insight_lander_in_assembly_1-15-15a.jpg

[9] http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/pia19666_20150429_insight_backshell_install3.jpg

[10] http://mars.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=7189

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The Mars Report – June 1st, 2015

Curiosity Rover

Curiosity Rover

[1]

(Curiosity Rover Near Mount Sharp Peak)

                               Welcome back My Dear Shoevians to The Other Shoe and another edition of ‘The Mars Report’. Each and every week I work to bring all of you, My Dear Shoevians, the latest news, science and images from the Martian surface. Today I have some incredible images, one reminiscent of a very popular poster of the early 70’s. This will be only the second edition of ‘The Mars Report’ to be published ‘Tri-Blog’. Meaning that all of you, My Dear Shoevians, can read this article and view these incredible images from any one of my three blog locations.

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First, my primary blog location is at Blog Dot Com www.theothershoe.blog.com/ . The second location is at Word Press www.theothersshoe.wordpress.com/ . The third and final location is at BlogSpot www.theothersshoe.blogspot.com/ . I encourage everyone to take a look at all three locations and decide which location and layout serves your needs best. This does make for a bit more work, on my part, but I have high hopes that these efforts will not go without reward, in that I hope to continue to expand my readership = more My Dear Shoevians!

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Though, I may have been absent the past week (due to mounting pain and doctor appointments leading to surgery in the near future) NASA/JPL and the Martian rover Curiosity spent that time productively. Today I have images; showing the course of Curiosity over this spring, an unusual ultraviolet aura on the Martian surface, to a sunset sequence on the Martian surface at Gale Crater. This proves to be an exciting edition packed full of spectacular images from the Martian surface, let’s get started!

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Curiosity's Path to Some Spring 2015 Study Sites

Curiosity’s Path to Some Spring 2015 Study Sites

[2]

(Curiosity’s Path to Some Spring 2015 Study Sites)

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At the risk of repeating myself, the image above is the course plotted for Curiosity over the spring. Taking us, and the rover Curiosity, from Jocko Butte all the way around Logan’s Pass to the base of Mount Stimson. This journey will take the nest three months to traverse, and I will share images all along the way. My Dear Shoevians, you are in a unique place… a unique blog, to see this travel relayed to you, MY Dear Shoevians, right here on the pages of The Other Shoe.

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Rover's Reward for Climbing: Exposed Geological Contact

Rover’s Reward for Climbing: Exposed Geological Contact

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(Rover’s Reward for Climbing: Exposed Geological Contact)

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Above we see an example of “geologic contact” as seen by Curiosity upon arrival at the top of Mount Sharp. This image shows The Martian outcrop where pale rock meets darker overlying rock near the middle of this May 21, 2015. Notice the difference in shading, visible even in this black and white photo. This image was taken from the MastCam of the Curiosity rover.

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MAVEN Captures Ultraviolet Aurora on Mars

MAVEN Captures Ultraviolet Aurora on Mars

[4]

(MAVEN Captures Ultraviolet Aurora on Mars)

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, just how many of you remember the ‘Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission’ as I explained it in a pervious edition of ‘The Mars Report’? Also know as MAVEN, this spacecraft arrived September 21st, 2014 into Martian orbit. Dedicated to study of the Martian atmosphere, and to discern just what happened to the Martian atmosphere. The image above shows MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) auroral detections in December 2014 overlaid on Mars’ surface. This aura is widespread in the northern hemisphere and not situated over any geologic feature or location.

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Our next two images, My Dear Shoevians, are of the same geographic locations and taken at the same time by the same instrument, Curiosity’s MastCam. The only difference, between the two images, is that the first (below) is annotated with the locations for upcoming travel. Whereas, the second image does not contain these annotations. I include both for one reason. I know that a great many of you, My Dear Shoevians, use my images as wallpapers for your desktops. I wanted you to have the opportunity to see and know Curiosity’s upcoming pathway, and have an image suitable for use as wallpaper for your desktop.

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Looking Toward Curiosity Study Areas, Spring 2015– Annotated

Looking Toward Curiosity Study Areas, Spring 2015

[5]

(Diverse Terrain Types on Mount Sharp, Mars – Annotated)

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Now, for the image suitable for using as your desktop wallpaper, the un-annotated version of the same image from Curiosity’s MastCam. A quick reminder, if you are viewing this article at either my Blog Dot Com location or the new location at BlogSpot… I want to remind you that the very best images (for use as desktop wallpapers) are at the Word Press location. Just click on the embedded link in the previous sentence to take you to that blog. I am not sure just why it is, but that blog allows for complete uploads of HD images.

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Diverse Terrain Types on Mount Sharp, Mars

Diverse Terrain Types on Mount Sharp, Mars

[6]

(Diverse Terrain Types on Mount Sharp, Mars)

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While, My Dear Shoevians, I greatly enjoy bringing you gargantuan editions of ‘The Mars Report’, alas today’s is not the case. We have but two images left for this, today’s, edition. As always, I am saving the very best image for last, today. Next, however, I have to share with you a shot forward in Curiosity’s journey on the Martian surface. If Curiosity is anything like its predecessor, Opportunity, we will receive images for another decade. Our next image shows some “unfavorable terrain” that lies ahead for Curiosity. This view southeastward from Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) shows terrain judged difficult for traversing between the rover and an outcrop in the middle distance where a pale rock unit meets a darker rock unit above.

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Unfavorable Terrain for Crossing Near 'Logan Pass'

Unfavorable Terrain for Crossing Near ‘Logan Pass’

[7]

(Unfavorable Terrain for Crossing Near ‘Logan Pass’)

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Now, MY Dear Shoevians, that brings us to the final image of today’s edition of ‘The Mars Report’. I do not know just how many of you, MY Dear Shoevians, were alive and aware of the Apollo lunar missions. However, out of those missions came an image that was turned into millions of posters. Posters, some of which were turned into wallpaper. I cannot count how many young men, and boys, that I saw this wallpaper in their bedrooms. The image I am talking about, of course, was the ‘Earthrise on the Moon’!

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That historic shot of the Earth coming over the lunar horizon was nothing short of historic. I still see it, in older movies and television shows, in backgrounds all around. Today I share what could soon be, another historic image taken by Curiosity of a sunset on the Martian surface. This is a GIF image, and is a composite of several images. Be sure to stay with your browser focused on this part of the page until you see this image, change. ENJOY!
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Sunset Sequence in Mars' Gale Crater

Sunset Sequence in Mars’ Gale Crater

[8]

(Sunset Sequence in Mars’ Gale Crater)

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That brings us to the end of this edition of ‘The Mars Report’ for June 1st, 2015. MY Dear Shoevians I hope that you have enjoyed your time here, today. As always, I want to do my best to give you images to enjoy combined with news and science to engage. I thank you for your time, your support and your ‘Shares’ and “Likes’. If you have enjoyed this edition, remember to Share it with friends, family and co-workers. That way more and more people can enjoy these images, and my work.

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Thank you!

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Adieu!

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Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

Danny Hanning Writer, Editor, Research Staff and Publisher at The Other Shoe

© 2010 – 2015 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

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