The Mars Report August 19th, 2016

Martian Rover ‘Curiosity’ Self-portrait at ‘Big Sky’

                                Martian Rover ‘Curiosity’ Self-portrait at ‘Big Sky’

(Martian Rover ‘Curiosity’ Self-portrait at ‘Big Sky’)[1]

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Welcome, My Dear Shoevians, to ‘The Mars Report’. The very first edition of this multi-year notable article series to be published in many months. This edition contains the most recent images taken by the Curiosity rover of the Martian surface. My Dear Shoevians this return to writing and publishing this, very popular, article series signals my desire to make a genuine attempt to return to writing and publishing at ‘The Other Shoe’. I know that I have tried to return, many times before, just to have my pain and other physical difficulties cloud, and in the end, deter my best wishes. Today I am here to present to you, My Dear Shoevians, the longest edition of this storied series in nearly a year’s time!

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Today I have seven images to share, over the next several pages. These images date back to October 2015 and bring us up to date with very new & ‘fresh’ images from this month, August! I do not know that I will be able to bring the level of writing narrative that some of you, My Dear Shoevians, may have become accustom. However, I will write (in my own words) as much as I can and when I tire? I will quote from the NASA/JPL[2] web site when I found the image shared.

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New Waypoint, Science Team Newcomers for Curiosity

                         New Waypoint, Science Team Newcomers for Curiosity

(New Waypoint, Science Team Newcomers for Curiosity)[3]

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The image, above, is a map of the Martian surface showing the progress of the Martian rover ‘Curiosity’. At the top right of the image, just to the left of ‘Yellowknife’ (the blue triangle) is a blue star. This blue star is the Landing Zone of the ‘Curiosity’ rover. Named, by NASA/JPL personnel, ‘Bradbury Point’ (named after the famous sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury) this is the spot where ‘Curiosity’ started its Martian Adventure back in August of 2012. Now, for some of you, My Dear Shoevians, that are recent visitors to ‘The Other Shoe’ you may not know that I started ‘The Mars Report’ (in its current form) with the landing of ‘Curiosity’ now four years ago!

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Four years, this month, which I have been writing and publishing this very article series for all of you, My Dear Shoevians. Humm, you might well think of this edition of ‘The Mars Report’ as the fourth anniversary issue! I hadn’t thought of that, until I wrote the words right now. However, I might just make the next edition… the Anniversary Edition… so I can do it right! Now, as I was explaining, the map (above) shows ‘Bradbury Point’ where the ‘Curiosity’ rover started its journey with the last (and most recent arrival) at ‘”Naukluft Plateau’ shown at the bottom left of the image. Throughout the following images, you can go back and check this map so that you can follow along as we make our way to ‘”Naukluft Plateau’!

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Martian Rover ‘Curiosity’ Self-portrait at ‘Big Sky’

Martian Rover ‘Curiosity’ Self-portrait at ‘Big Sky’

(Curiosity Self-Portrait at ‘Big Sky’ Drilling Site)[4]

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The image above, also seen at the top of the article, is a wonderful self-portrait taken by Curiosity in the ‘Big Sky’ area leading to Mount Sharp. The image was taken (the composite image, this image is a mosaic of several dozen images. The self-portrait was taken October 6th, 2015 by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. The robotic arm is not pictured. This is the most recent self-portrait (in this style) taken by the rover.

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Knobbly Textured Sandstone on Mount Sharp, Mars

Knobbly Textured Sandstone on Mount Sharp, Mars

(Knobbly Textured Sandstone on Mount Sharp, Mars)[5]

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The image, above, shows patches of Martian sandstone visible in the lower-left and upper portions of the image, they have a knobbly texture due to the nodules that are apparently more resistant to erosion than the host rock. The image was taken with the Mast Cam on the rover, and taken on March 9th, 2016. This sandstone formation was sighted on the rover’s approach to the ‘Naukluft Plateau’.

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The image is present with a color adjustment that approaches the white balance seen here on earth. This mosaic is comprised of six images taken with the Left Eye of the rover’s Mast Cam. The white balancing helps earthbound scientists to recognize materials and elements in the images provided. Now, My Dear Shoevians, when NASA/JPL provides multiple versions of a particular image, then I will share the Real Color’ and the “white Balanced’ versions.

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Curiosity's Arm Over 'Marimba' Target on Mount Sharp

Curiosity’s Arm Over ‘Marimba’ Target on Mount Sharp

(Curiosity’s Arm Over ‘Marimba’ Target on Mount Sharp)[6]

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Our next image, above, was taken during the week preceding the fourth anniversary of the mission’s dramatic sky-crane landing. This image shows Curiosity lowering the robotic arm directly over the target called ‘Marimba’ on the lower side of Mount Sharp. The image was taken by the Navigation Camera (NavCam) on August 2nd, 2016. (a mere 16 days ago, My Dear Shoevians!) The robotic arm was lowered over a patch of bedrock that was selected for the rover’s next drilling operation. Once the drilling is complete, the rock powder is collected and transferred to the onboard laboratory for analysis and observation. My Dear Readers, in past editions of ‘The Mars Report’ I have shared images of the drill device, holes drilled by the rover and image of bedrock and sandstone post drilling. Today, I am working to give you a wide range of images, in a seven image edition of ‘The Mars Report’.

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Full-Circle Panorama Beside 'Namib Dune' on Mars

Full-Circle Panorama Beside ‘Namib Dune’ on Mars

(Full-Circle Panorama Beside ‘Namib Dune’ on Mars)[7]

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, this image just might be one of those images. Meaning, that you might have to click on the image and have it take you to a larger version of the image to get the full impact of the image I have shared. What we have here, My Dear Shoevians, is a Full Circle Panorama Self-Portrait of the Martian rover Curiosity! It is not often that NASA/JPL shares for our enjoyment and edification. However, when the do? I really like to share them, as they show a huge area of the Martian surface in a rare landscape format. Directly behind the rover, closest to Curiosity and on the left side of the image, is the downwind face of ‘Namib Dune’.

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‘Nambid Dune’ is part of the ‘Bagnold Dunes’. Further in the background, and in the center-right side of the image, is ‘Mount Sharp’. This image was taken December 18th, 2015. Yes, My Dear Shoevians, this image is a little out of chronologic order. I had hoped that I would get everything perfect in this ‘All New’ edition of ‘The Mars Report’… but, alas, I am still human and did make this minor mistake. L However, in my defense, I am sharing this image of a dune face… because the nest image is a close-up of a dune face… that, well, I thought was incredible! So, without further adieu… I give you… this!

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Mastcam Telephoto of a Martian Dune's Downwind Face

Mastcam Telephoto of a Martian Dune’s Downwind Face

(Mastcam Telephoto of a Martian Dune’s Downwind Face)[8]

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Well, My Dear Shoevians, it becomes clear. My reason for placing the previous image out of chronological order, that is, becomes clear with the image above. This is the ‘Nambid Dune’ up close via the telephoto lens of the MastCam (Mast Camera). Again, My Dear Shoevians, you just might want to click on this image, too. This telephoto image of the ‘Nambid Dune’ just really struck me, as I was researching this week, for images for this ‘All New’ edition of ‘The Mars Report’. If you click on the image (now this feature is not available at all my blog location, but it IS available at the primary location of ‘The Other Shoe’). The ‘Nambid Dune’ is a part of the ‘Bagnold Dunes’ field along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp.

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The image was taken December 21st, 2015 during the 1,200th Martian Day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars. The top of the dune face is about 13 to 17 feet in size. This image, again, uses ‘White Balancing’ so it appears in Earth-Like lighting conditions. Yes, it looks like it is black/white, but if you click or enlarge the image you can see spots of red rocks, in the lower right area of the image. Now, I know that this is an impressive image…. And I said that it “really struck me”… However, if you are a long term Shoevian, then you know that “I save the best image for last”!

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Full-Circle Vista from 'Naukluft Plateau' on Mars

Full-Circle Vista from ‘Naukluft Plateau’ on Mars

(Full-Circle Vista from ‘Naukluft Plateau’ on Mars)[9]

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My Dear Shoevians, this is a MUST CLICK image! Of all the images that I have shared, in this edition of ‘The Mars Report’, this image is breathtaking! This image was taken mid-afternoon, on April 4th, 2016, as a part of a long-term campaign to document the context and details of the geology and landforms along Curiosity’s traverse since landing August 2012. The view combines dozens of images in a mosaic of a vista from ‘Naukluft Plateau’ on lower Mount Sharp. Here is some of the description, from the NASA/JPL web site.

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The foreground and middle distance show a geologic scene dominated by eroded remnants of a finely layered ancient sandstone deposit. Since landing, the rover traversed through terrains dominated by water-lain sedimentary rocks (mudstones and siltstones, and early on, conglomerates), some of which have contained minerals like clays that attest to the ancient presence of water.  However, the rover crossed into very different geology while climbing onto the Naukluft Plateau. The sandstone here appears to be dominated by thick layers of windblown sand, suggesting that these deposits formed in a drier epoch.  These rocks resemble the types of rocks that a dune field like the “Bagnold Dunes[10] 

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The scene is presented with the ‘White Balancing’ color correction to approximate earth lighting conditions. This gives viewers a better understanding of the view, and scientists a better view of the different types of rocks and rack faces. The center of the image is a portion of the Gale Crater, with the upper Mount Sharp on the horizon at the right of the image. It was taken with the MastCam (Mast Camera) with the left and right eyes.

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With that, My Dear Shoevians, we come to the end of this edition of ‘The Mars Report’. As always, My Dear Shoevians, IF you have enjoyed this article? PLEASE ‘Share’ and ‘Like’ the article via your preferred social media outlets. I hope that all of you enjoyed this article, it did take me several hours, over two days, to; prepare, write, edit and publish. It is a labor of love, because I love sharing these images and the hope that (someday) mankind will return to the stars!

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Thank you!

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Adieu!

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Daniel Hanning- Writer, Research Staff, Editor and Publisher of The Other Shoe

Daniel Hanning- Writer, Research Staff, Editor and Publisher of The Other Shoe

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© 2010 – 2016 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

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[1] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia19920/curiosity-self-portrait-at-big-sky-drilling-site

[2] http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/images/index.html

[3] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia20166/new-waypoint-science-team-newcomers-for-curiosity

[4] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia19920/curiosity-self-portrait-at-big-sky-drilling-site

[5] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia20322/knobbly-textured-sandstone-on-mount-sharp-mars

[6] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia20764/curiositys-arm-over-marimba-target-on-mount-sharp

[7] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/full-circle-panorama-beside-namib-dune-on-mars

[8] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/mastcam-telephoto-of-a-martian-dunes-downwind-face

[9] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/pia20332/full-circle-vista-from-naukluft-plateau-on-mars

[10] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/pia20332/full-circle-vista-from-naukluft-plateau-on-mars

The Mars Report – April 22nd, 2016

Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune

                                      Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune

(Full-Circle Panorama Beside ‘Namib Dune’ on Mars)[1]

 

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Welcome back to The Other Shoe, My Dear Shoevians! I have decided to take a step away from all things ‘politics’ and ‘political’ heading into this weekend. With that in mind I am happy to bring you the very first edition of ‘The Mars Report’ in many months. Honestly, if feels good to put my head back into subject matter that has always made me smile… and think. Since I was a small boy of seven or eight, I dreamed of walking on the surface of another planetary body. I read the works of Clark, Asimov, and Heinlein while, in my head, turning their words into foreign lands.

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This is, as I have said, the very first edition of ‘The Mars Report’ in many months. Having said, I am a bit out of ‘shape’ when it comes to writing this genera of works, this will end up being a bit of an abbreviated edition. I have four different images to share, and most of them are from months ago. Right now Curiosity is in a dormant mode. Hibernating through the Martian Winter where it is currently located. Below is a map showing the journey of Curiosity since it first landed at ‘Bradbury Landing’ back on August 22nd, 2012. Funny, that, My Dear Shoevians… I have covered the adventures and discoveries of Curiosity since it landed. I am glad that I made this project a priority for my writing and my blog(s).

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Curiosity Rover's Traverse, First 1,163 Sols on Mars

                           Curiosity Rover’s Traverse, First 1,163 Sols on Mars

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(Curiosity Rover’s Traverse, First 1,163 Sols on Mars)[2]

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The map shown above highlights the route of the Curiosity rover. As it makes it way slowly from the beginning (at the top of the image, just to the left of ‘Yellowknife Bay’, to where it is halted just below ‘Marias Pass’. Curiosity is now located in the “Bagnold Dunes” dune field. The rover is making its way to higher elevations of Mount Sharp. The image, below, is of Curiosity at its stop in the ‘Bagnold Dunes in front of “Namib Dune”.

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Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune

Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune

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(Curiosity Self-Portrait at Martian Sand Dune)[3]

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This ‘Self Portrait’ is a combination of 57 images taken on Jan. 19, 2016, during the 1,228th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars. All of the 57 images were taken by the (not pictured) Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. Rather interesting, My Dear Shoevians, but as I was just writing this explanation of the image, above, I found a much better and far more recent map of Curiosity’s journey. I am including it, below.

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Curiosity's Traverse Map Through Sol 1221

                                       Curiosity’s Traverse Map Through Sol 1221

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(Curiosity’s Traverse Map Through Sol 1221)[4]

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, you should be able to just left click on this image and you will be taken to the full sized rending. In the larger image you will be able to read all of the different locations Curiosity has visited in its more than 1,000 day adventure, so far. At the bottom right corner, of this image, you will see the blue overlay. In this overlay you can see the ‘Namib Dune’ location, where self portrait (show above) was taken. It is marked, in the overlay, with a yellow diamond. That was the current location for the Curiosity rover of Sol 1221 (or the 1,221st day on the Martian Surface).

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Full-Circle Panorama Beside 'Namib Dune' on Mars

                          Full-Circle Panorama Beside ‘Namib Dune’ on Mars

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(Full-Circle Panorama Beside ‘Namib Dune’ on Mars)[5]

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The image, above, appeared at the top of this article. However, I decided to include it in the body, too. This is the ‘360 Full Circleversion of the ‘Self Portrait’ captioned three images above. Now, My Dear Shoevians, as I have mentioned before you can left-click on any of these images and it will transfer your browser to another page that is just the full sized version of any given image. As well, there are footnotes at the bottom of the article. The number at the end of the caption, of any/all, images corresponds to the link at the bottom of the page. Click on a link to go to the credited page for each and every image. There you can, if you wish, download the High Definition version of any/all of the images included in my articles.

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These high definition images make for great desktop wallpapers, or for any other image needs you may have, like sharing on Facebook or any of the other social media that you enjoy. Having said, I would like to ask all of you, My Dear Shoevians, to SHARE my articles (that you enjoy) via any/all the social media outlets that you enjoy. I am sure that all your; family, friends, and co-workers would enjoy seeing these images and learning of all our (hard earned) tax dollars at work!

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'Garden City' Site

                                                             ‘Garden City’ Site

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(‘Garden City’ Site)[6]

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That brings us to the image, above, our final image of this edition of “The Mars Report’ for April 22nd, 2016. This image was taken back in March of 2015 and shows a ridge at the bottom of Mount Sharp. The site’s name is ‘Garden City’ as shows a prominent network of mineral veins below a cap rock ridge. This rock ridge is located in the Pahrump section of the Lower Murray Formation of Mount Sharp. The mineral veins, pictured in this image are formed where fluids move through fractured rocks, depositing minerals in the fractures and affecting chemistry of the surrounding rock. In this case, the veins have been more resistant to erosion than the surrounding host rock.

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The images that make up this mosaic view were taken by the left-eye camera of Mastcam (Mast Camera) on March 27, 2015, during the 938th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars. The image has been improved with white balancing so that the formation is seen as it would appear in natural light here on earth. Further image enhancement was accomplished by using Curiosity’s laser-firing Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument. It was used to record the spectra of sparks generated by zapping 17 Garden City targets with the laser. Prior to taking this mosaic  the ChemCam team had completed the most extensive upgrade to the data-analysis toolkit (which the ChemCam is part) since Curiosity reached Mars in August 2012. The cap rock scarp, pictured here, is about three feet in height.

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That brings us to the end of this edition of ‘The Mars Report’ for April 22nd, 2016. I would like to take a moment to “Thank you!” all., My Dear Shoevians, for dropping by and reading this newest edition of ‘The Mars Report’. As I mentioned earlier in this article, I hope to have another edition of this series later next week. I have already located the images I would like to showcase, and many of them are very striking! They have been taken by the Mars Orbiting Observatory and display the harsh nature of a Martian winter.

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Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. In closing, I would like to ask your indulgence. We all use social media of many types; Facebook, Pintrest, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram just to name a few. Now that you have read and (hopefully) enjoyed this article, today? Don’t you think that others (family, friends, co-workers) would enjoy it, too? Why not be the one that shares an informative article filled with eye-candy? I think that most people would be grateful to find enjoyable content on the web that isn’t all about politics and all things political. Be that person and share this article, and all my works, and bask in the light of their thanks.

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Thank you!

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Be Good To One Another!

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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

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© 2010 – 2016 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

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[1] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/full-circle-panorama-beside-namib-dune-on-mars

[2] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/curiosity-rovers-traverse-first-1163-sols-on-mars

[3] http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/pia20316-main_take6dune.jpg

[4] http://mars.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=7640

[5] http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/full-circle-panorama-beside-namib-dune-on-mars

[6] http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/pia19921-main_blaney1_sol-0938_ml.jpg

 

The Mars Report – WATER on MARS!

Recurring 'Lineae' on Slopes at Hale Crater, Mars

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Welcome back My Dear Shoevians to The Other Shoe. Today I start this edition of ‘The Mars Report’ with the ‘Holy Grail’ of extraterrestrial exploration, water. Essential to all life, the birthplace of mankind, and (until recently) never before found outside the surface of earth. That all changed on September 28th, 2015 with the announcement of a discovery on the Martian surface. Since early in the life of the Curiosity rover, there had been speculation and observations of other liquids. However, with the image, below, all speculation ended with a single discovery.

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Recurring 'Lineae' on Slopes at Hale Crater, Mars

                                Recurring ‘Lineae’ on Slopes at Hale Crater, Mars

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(Recurring ‘Lineae’ on Slopes at Hale Crater, Mars)

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That, My Dear Shoevians, is most certainly the single most famous image of modern science. Published around the world, late last month, this is the image that has ended the search for the ‘Holy Grail’ of extraterrestrial exploration. Now, this image is rather difficult to navigate for the average reader, or Shoevian.

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The dark narrow streaks that we see, left of center, in this image are “inferred” to be formed by“Seasonal flow of water on contemporary Mars.” This is not flowing water like here on earth. This is a “briny liquid water” heavy with hydrated salts. It is these hydrated salts that brought NASA’s attention to this flow, and others found on the Martian surface. It is thought that during the winter months (occurring now) on Mars moisture in the thin atmosphere collects and solidifies on the upward sides of these slopes. As the Martian surface heats, the briny liquid water flows down slopes, like those seen in this image. This is only one example of the briny liquid water flows on the Martian surface.

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Now, as for the how this image was made? Let me quote the NASA/JPL web site for their expert explanation.

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        “The image was produced by first creating a 3-D computer model (a digital terrain map) of the area based on stereo information from two HiRISE observations, and then draping a false-color image over the land-shape model. The vertical dimension is exaggerated by a factor of 1.5 compared to horizontal dimensions. The camera records brightness in three wavelength bands: infrared, red and blue-green. The draped image is one product from HiRISE observation ESP_03070_1440.[2]

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Now, as a special added treat, My Dear Shoevians, I have a short animation of this discovery as provided by NASA/JPL below. Enjoy!

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Animation of Site of Seasonal Flows in Hale Crater, Mars

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The image, above, is made with a process called ‘false color’. If you are a regular Shoevian then you are familiar with this process of image enhancement. Our next image is of the very same process of briny liquid water taken at Horowitz Crater, without the image enhancements.

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Recurring "Lineae" on Slopes at Horowitz Crater

                                Recurring “Lineae” on Slopes at Horowitz Crater

[3]

(Recurring “Lineae” on Slopes at Horowitz Crater)

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MY Dear Shoevians, this discovery is the single most important scientific discovery of mankind. With the presence of liquid water, comes the distinct possibility of the formation of life. The possibility of life existing on the surface of another planetary body in our solar system is nothing short of incredible. Now, My Dear Shoevians, aside from the implications of life of another planetary body within our own solar system (as if that is not enough) liquid water on the Martian surface gives us the opportunity of a gas station in space!

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By breaking down liquid water into its component hydrogen and oxygen, then pressurizing said gases into a liquid form yields liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen (LOX). As well, the oxygen can be used for breathing by the astronauts and water… well, to drink!

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Now, for any still remaining nay Sayers I give you the following image, captured at the Kimberly Formation at the base of Mount Sharp.

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NASA's Curiosity Rover Team Confirms Ancient Lakes on Mars

                   NASA’s Curiosity Rover Team Confirms Ancient Lakes on Mars

[4]

(NASA’s Curiosity Rover Team Confirms Ancient Lakes on Mars)

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Well, My Dear Shoevians, I am pretty darn good with words. However, when it comes to explaining the above captioned image, I am going to leave this one image to the experts at NASA/JPL.

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A new study from the team behind NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity has confirmed that Mars was once, billions of years ago, capable of storing water in lakes over an extended period of time.

Using data from the Curiosity rover, the team has determined that, long ago, water helped deposit sediment into Gale Crater, where the rover landed more than three years ago. The sediment deposited as layers that formed the foundation for Mount Sharp, the mountain found in the middle of the crater today.

“Observations from the rover suggest that a series of long-lived streams and lakes existed at some point between about 3.8 to 3.3 billion years ago, delivering sediment that slowly built up the lower layers of Mount Sharp,” said Ashwin Vasavada, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and co-author of the new Science article to be published Friday, Oct. 9.”[5]

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Well, My Dear Shoevians, I have reached the very limit of my endurance to my pain… today. I had really wanted to share another ‘Gargantuan’ edition of ‘The Mars Report’ for all of your today. However, I simply am not going to push myself and be in pain for days and days to come. I hope to write, and publish, an all new edition of ‘Lost in Space’ later this week. There are still tons of great images, I have put aside, from the Chandra X-Ray Telescope for future editions. I hope to share some more of these, later on this week.

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I would like to extend my thanks to all of you, My Dear Shoevians, for dropping by today. For taking the time to revel in the scientific discovery of the ‘Holy Grail’ on the Martian surface. I know that I have been greatly absent, from these pages. I hope to change that reality and appear here on a more and more frequent basis. I do love to write, love to share my discoveries, and love to publish. But for my disabilities, my pain and growing physical limitations, I would be here every single day!

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Adieu!

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Thank you!

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

© 2010 – 2015 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

 

 

Lost in Space – New Horizons Reaches Pluto

New Horizons Spacecraft

New Horizons Spacecraft

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(New Horizons Spacecraft)

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Welcome back My Dear Shoevians to The Other Shoe and the very first article I have written and published in nearly a month! Briefly, I have been plagued… terribly plagued with pains all over my body. From the base of my head all the way down into my arms and hands and now into my thighs and legs. MY spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease has worsened, greatly. I am completely unable to sit up on the side of my bed and writing/publishing. I simply can not last long enough to do research or gather images for a single article (anywhere from six to fourteen images per article).

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In strides a ‘International Concern’ (that is what I was told to identify the parties involved in assisting me) willing to HELP! They purchased the very ‘Medical Bedside Table’ I pointed out, and have expressed the desire to assist with financing of my first year of an URL (hosting, registration, emails and all) for a web site ALL MY OWN! I am looking at www.theothershoe.co for the All NEW location of the primary blog for The Other Shoe. I will be keeping my blog at WordPress and Blogspot, too. All they have asked in return for their great generosity?

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1) The password to read all the finished pages of ‘The Horror in Smithville.

2) That I give them “First shot” at any novel(s), screenplay(s), and short story(s) that I write and finish in the same one year period.

3) FINISH ONE; novel, screenplay, or short story for them to read.

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That’s IT! They purchased, had shipped and delivered the table I desperately needed and are willing to help with the costs of registration of a domain, web hosting, and email for one blog location outside my current locations. How could I refuse!?!? I didn’t!

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Now, that I have cleared up all your questions My Dear Shoevians, I want to continue with this edition of ‘Lost in Space – New Horizons At Pluto’! As I was writing this article introduction I was also doing my research on the newest images from New Horizions[2]of Pluto and Charon. However, before I present these images and share my thoughts and observations mixed with technical and scientific information from NASA/JPL[3] I would like to take a moment to say “Thank you!”. Thank you to the ‘International Concern’ that took their time, money and effort to make this article and all that will follow for some time to come. If not for their help I would be stuck without the means to write and publish without creating severe pain and suffering. For all of you, My Dear Shoevians, that are regular readers (from all around the world) you know that since my battle with cancer I have repeatedly tried to return to a regular publishing schedule. Each and every time, I have failed. I have failed due to the increased and intractable pain that sitting (in any way), for extended periods of time, causes. Now I have a medical ‘Over-the-Bed’ styled table that I can sit (comfortably) in my bed-chair, with pillows supporting my head, neck and shoulders, thereby relieving all pressure and weight from my neck.

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How Big is Pluto? Decades Long Debate Settled

How Big is Pluto? Decades Long Debate Settled

[4]

(How Big is Pluto? Decades Long Debate Settled)

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Whereas I know that you, My Dearest Shoevians, understand that between; research, uploading images, writing content, editing images, uploading images to three separate blog locations, uploading text and integrating text and images can take anywhere for six-eight hours to several DAYS. All of the ‘Gargantuan’ editions of ‘The Mars Report’ and ‘Lost in Space’ (deemed ‘Gargantuan’ once they reach 14+ pages in length and having 14+ images embedded) have taken two to three days from the very first image downloaded to my computer to the final editing and embedding of images into the finished article. Far from complaining I really rather enjoy these ‘Gargantuan’ editions. I just do not enjoy the days-weeks for pain that follows these endeavors. Now, that will (should be) a thing of the past.

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Right now I have already; researched, captured, uploaded, captioned and saved reference links for the eleven images that will make up this article. I see, from Task Manager, that my system has been ‘up’ for three hours and fifty-nine minuets. Yet, my neck and back… arms and hands are not hurting beyond my regular background level of pain. This IS a ‘Good Thing’! THANK YOU!

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The lead image of this edition is an artist’s impression of the New Horizons orbiter/spacecraft as it approaches Pluto. This was one of the very first images I saw when I started my research for the initial edition of ‘Lost in Space’ about the New Horizons’ mission. That’s right My Dear Shoevians; this is not my first article about the New Horizons mission, the spacecraft or its journey to the Kuiper Belt and Pluto. My original article, titled ‘Lost in Space – NASA Arrives at Kuiper Belt’[5] premiered April 17th, 2015. Long before this month’s media orgy over its arrival, close orbit, of the dwarf planet Pluto. I knew then that the arrival of New Horizons to the Kuiper Belt was a major accomplishment for America and mankind. I am just so very happy that I lived to see the day that man reached the very limits of our solar system. There is still the Oort Cloud, which I wrote about in my ‘Tour of Our Solar System #4’[6] series of ‘Lost in Space’ back in July 1st, 2014 (nearly exactly one year ago). Funny that I knew to write about this material as far back as one year ago, and as recently as in April of this year. Anywho. J

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Observations of Pluto Through the Years

Observations of Pluto Through the Years

[7]

(Observations of Pluto Through the Years)

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The image, above, is a GIF. This GIF is actually a series of images of the dwarf planet Pluto as seen over the years. An animation combines many images taken of Pluto over the decades. The very first frame is a digital zoom of the initial discovery of Pluto in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, image courtesy of Lowell Observatory Archives. The final frame zooms in to a close-up frame of Pluto released on July 15, 2015. I thought this a fitting image to begin our journey into the newest images of Pluto thanks to the New Horizons orbiter spacecraft. Now, My Dear Shoevians, if you would like some information about; the launch of the mission, the mission patch, the spacecraft itself or anything-about New Horizons’ nine year/four billion mile journey you can read it in my original article here: Lost in Space – New Horizons – Redux.

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Pluto Image Sent to Earth on July 14. 2015

Pluto Image Sent to Earth on July 14. 2015

[8]

(Pluto Image Sent to Earth on July 14. 2015)

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The black and white image, above, was taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard the New Horizons spacecraft. It was taken on July 13, 2015 when the spacecraft was 476,000 miles (768,000 kilometers) from the surface of Pluto. This was, at the time it was taken, the very first High-Definition image ever taken of the surface of Pluto. The clarity and overall sharpness of this image is just breathtaking, to someone that has looked at blurry images and artist’s concept images for his entire life. For me, this image holds the same awe and mystery I found when I looked at the very first images astronauts Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Neil Armstrong took of the surface of the moon, forty-six years ago. Next is a false color version of this same image.

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Pluto is Dominated by the Feature Informally Named the “Heart”

Pluto is Dominated by the Feature Informally Named the “Heart”

[9]

(Pluto is Dominated by the Feature Informally Named the “Heart”)

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Above is the single sharpest image, of the dwarf planet Pluto, mankind has ever seen. Everyone associated with the ‘New Horizons’ mission understood, from the onset, that the orbiter would transmit the clearest/sharpest images of Pluto and Charon ever seen by man. I, for one, was just not really ready for what New Horizons delivered! Since I was a boy all I had ever seen, of Pluto, was blurry images that left more to the imagination than my eyes and artist’s concepts. Neither of which contained the all new feature (informally) named ‘The Heart’. If you, My Dear Shoevians, look to the lower right quadrant of the image above you can see the outline of ‘The Heart’. Almost like Pluto texting us a heart. As New Horizons sped towards Pluto it captured the following incredible portrait image, one of Pluto and Charon sharing a frame, together.

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A Portrait from the Final Approach to Pluto and Charon

A Portrait from the Final Approach to Pluto and Charon

[10]

(A Portrait from the Final Approach to Pluto and Charon)

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For decades scientists have theorized that the surface of Pluto (a terran planet out past our Jovian gas giants) would likely have a surface covered with ice. To the joy of scientists the world over the orbiter New Horizons ‘Ralph’ instrument revealed an abundance of methane ice. The ‘Ralph’ instrument is actually several imaging devices in one package.

“Ralph includes the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), which generates visible and near infrared multi-spectral images and a panchromatic “framing” array for navigation, and the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA), provided by NASA/Goddard, which generates short wave infrared hyperspectral images”[11]

However, Ralph (named after the 50’s television character in ‘The Honeymooners’) showed something more about the methane on the surface of Pluto. That this methane ice shows striking differences, from place to place, across the frozen surface of Pluto.

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““We just learned that in the north polar cap, methane ice is diluted in a thick, transparent slab of nitrogen ice resulting in strong absorption of infrared light,” said New Horizons co-investigator Will Grundy, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona. In one of the visually dark equatorial patches, the methane ice has shallower infrared absorptions indicative of a very different texture. “The spectrum appears as if the ice is less diluted in nitrogen,” Grundy speculated “or that it has a different texture in that area.”[12]

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Below is an early composite infrared image of the surface of Pluto by the ‘Ralph’ imaging package.

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Pluto: The Ice Plot Thickens

Pluto: The Ice Plot Thickens

[13]

(Pluto: The Ice Plot Thickens)

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For our next, and last, images (today) of Pluto I have saved the best for last. This image is a close-up of the surface of Pluto near the equator. These high-definition images held a surprise for scientists and geologists alike. The ‘giant surprise’ was a range of youthful mountains rising as high as 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) above the surface of the icy body.

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“The mountains likely formed no more than 100 million years ago — mere youngsters relative to the 4.56-billion-year age of the solar system — and may still be in the process of building…” says Geology, Geophysics and Imaging (GGI) team leader Jeff Moore of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.. That suggests the close-up region, which covers less than one percent of Pluto’s surface, may still be geologically active today.”

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The Icy Mountains of Pluto

The Icy Mountains of Pluto

[14]

(The Icy Mountains of Pluto)

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Now, My Dear Shoevians, we move on to one of Pluto’s moons… Charon. Pluto has five moons that orbit the little dwarf planet. (Yes, I am still a little miffed that they took away Pluto’s designation as one of our solar system’s nine planets) New horizons snapped some really impressive images of Charon and of Pluto and Charon together. Below are three of the most recent of these images.

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The image, below, is a false-color image made from composites taken by the Ralph imaging package. They were taken to highlight their compositional diversity. They are shown here in exaggerated colors that make it easy to note the differences in surface material and features on each planetary body.

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““These images show that Pluto and Charon are truly complex worlds. There’s a whole lot going on here,” said New Horizons co-investigator Will Grundy, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona. “Our surface composition team is working as fast as we can to identify the substances in different regions on Pluto and unravel the processes that put them where they are.”[15]

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Pluto and Charon Shine in False Color

Pluto and Charon Shine in False Color

[16]

(Pluto and Charon Shine in False Color)

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Well, My Dear Shoevians, as I write this edition of ‘Lost in Space’ I can clearly see that this edition will qualify as a ‘Gargantuan’ edition. That means that this edition of ‘Lost in Space’ has twelve or more pages of content, twelve or more images and twelve or more footnotes. So, when you see me advertise this article in; Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and Pintrest you will see me use the designation ‘Gargantuan’. I don’t use it often, but when I do you can be sure that you are in for a real treat of an article.

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I started this article back on the 17th of this month. That is the day that I did the research on the images, uploaded the images to my computer, captured the links for the footnotes and copied text from the original sites for quotes, here. This is a long process, but one that yields a high quality article, one that I enjoy sharing and can take pride… in. Our next-to-the-last image, of this edition, is a full screen close-up of Pluto’s moon, Charon. Taken late by New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on July 13, 2015 from a distance of 289,000 miles (466,000 kilometers) this image was a defining moment for the project.

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Charon’s Surprising, Youthful and Varied Terrain

Charon’s Surprising, Youthful and Varied Terrain

[17]

(Charon’s Surprising, Youthful and Varied Terrain)

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Just below the equator, in this image, you can see a swath of cliffs and troughs. They stretch about 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from left to right, suggesting widespread fracturing of Charon’s crust, likely a result of internal processes. In the upper right quadrant of this image (just below the upper polar region) the ‘dark spot’ is actually a canyon four to six miles deep!

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My Dear Shoevians we have come to the final image of this ‘Gargantuan’ edition of ‘Lost in Space’. Building on the image above, our following image shows a close-up of another region of the surface of Charon. We see the region of Charon’s surface just to the east of the image above. This image is named ‘Mountain in a Moat’.

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New Horizons Close-Up of Charon’s ‘Mountain in a Moat’

New Horizons Close-Up of Charon’s ‘Mountain in a Moat’

[18]

(New Horizons Close-Up of Charon’s ‘Mountain in a Moat’)

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“The image shows an area approximately 240 miles (390 kilometers) from top to bottom, including few visible craters. “The most intriguing feature is a large mountain sitting in a moat,” said Jeff Moore with NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, who leads New Horizons’ Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team. “This is a feature that has geologists stunned and stumped.”[19]

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Well, My Dear Shoevians, I hope that you have enjoyed this ‘Gargantuan’ edition of ‘Lost in Space’. While it has taken me nearly a week to finish; writing, embedding images, editing and publishing this article? It was a labor of love. For, you see, My Dear Shoevians this is the very first article I have written and produced with my regular method since I landed my new URL! Yes, I have published nearly a dozen articles at all three blog locations, since Friday, for them I used a different method to; write, edit and publish. This way is longer, more difficult and more time consuming… but it is my method.

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As always, My Dear Shoevians, if you have enjoyed this article please be sure to ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ this with all your friends and family and all the social media you use and enjoy. This way more and more people can find and, too, enjoy this article and my works. I will be back, as soon as tomorrow, with more and more articles.

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My Dear Shoevians, if the past four days are any indication? You will see more articles and more often than ever before in my publishing career. I hope you enjoy what I have to share.

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Adieu!

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Thank you!

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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


Lost in Space – NASA Arrives at Kuiper Belt

Artist Illistration of New Horizon's Arrival at Pluto[1]

(Artist’s Illustration of New Horizon Arrival at Pluto)

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 Welcome back My Dear Shoevians to The Other Shoe and an all-new edition of ‘Lost in Space’. Now, for the past year this article series has; shared images of far-flung galaxies super nova and nebula, taken us all on a “Tour of Our Solar System’, and to the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud. The Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud… wow… such fond memories… That edition of ‘Lost in Space’ was one of my research and share with all of you, My Dearest Shoevians.

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Today we will return to The Kuiper Belt because NASA’s ‘New Horizon’ spacecraft has reached the border of this most far-flung reaches of our solar system. In case you have not read my edition of ‘Lost in Space – Tour of Our Solar System #4’ the Kuiper Belt is the home of Dwarf Planets like; Pluto, Xena and Sedna. The Kuiper Belt is similar to the Asteroid Belt that separates the inner Terran (rocky crust planets) planets from the outer Jovian (Gas giants). The Kuiper Belt differs, as it is the birthplace of new planets.

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774The conditions within The Kuiper Belt are very similar to those of the rest of our solar system at its birth. Rocks and dust, floating freely in the deep freeze of space, falling prey to chance encounters of gravity and inertia. Throwing bodies together and binding until they create their own gravitational fields, and becoming planets. In another hundred million years, or more new plants could appear in The Kuiper Belt. So far only dwarf planets occupy this violent frozen region of space.

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New Horizon’s Mission Patch

New Horizon’s Mission Patch

[2]

(New Horizon’s Mission Patch)

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Named ‘New Horizons’ the spacecraft launched and the journey started, at 2:00PM Eastern Time using the Atlas V 551 variant from Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida[3]. Five solid rocket motors and the core engine of the Atlas V rocket lifted the spacecraft into orbit at 2:30PM. Escape velocity was obtained with a third stage burn sending ‘New Horizon’ out of orbit and headed to Pluto and The Kuiper Belt at the speed of 36,373 mph.

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New Horizon’s Atlas Lift-Off

New Horizon’s Atlas Lift-Off

[4]

(New Horizon’s Atlas Lift-Off)

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New Horizon has made several near visits in its nine year four billion mile journey from Earth’s orbit to The Kuiper Belt and Pluto and beyond. The first such stop was a near fly-by of asteroid 132524 APL on June 13, 2006. The spacecraft used it RALPH telescope (named ‘Ralph’ after Alice’s husband in television’s ‘ Honeymooners’). When New Horizon’s flight plan brought it closest to the asteroid, 63,297 miles,. Images were taken by both the visible light CCD imager (MVIC- Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera) and LEISA the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array imaging device. These images are not, yet, available to the general public.

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At this point in New Horizon’s journey the spacecraft shut down most of its systems to conserve energy. Oh, this might be a good time to explain just how New Horizon powers itself. Since the spacecraft’s objective and flight plan would take it more than four billion miles from earth. Solar power was not a viable option as the size of needed solar panels (at the end of mission) would be larger than our lift-off capabilities. It was decided that New Horizon would use a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG).[5]

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New Horizon’s Instrumentation Graphic

New Horizon’s Instrumentation Graphic

[6]

(New Horizon’s Instrumentation Graphic)

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This is the very same electrical generator technology that was used as recently as the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover. It has been used by NASA for decades and has never resulted in a mission disaster or failure. The RTG uses the heat from the decay of plutonium-238 dioxide to fuel a thermoelectric process creating electricity. Voyager 1 & 2 spacecraft, now in interstellar space, both used RTG electrical sources.

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New Horizon’s Interplanetary Cruise Map

New Horizon’s Interplanetary Cruise Map

[7]

(New Horizon’s Interplanetary Cruise Map)

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In the first part of September 2006 NASA sent word to New Horizon to thaw from its deep freeze and awake for hibernation. It was time to start initial work for New Horizon’s fly-by of Jupiter. Shortly after awakening the spacecraft activated the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager aka LORRI to take long-range images of Jupiter. This long focal length imager is designed for high resolution images and to be responsive at all visible wavelengths. New Horizon used KORRI to take these images from a distance of 181 million miles. The spacecraft spent from January to mid-June 2007 observing and imaging the surface of Jupiter.

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[8]

(Jupiter’s Moon Io as seen by Galileo and New Horizon)

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At the end of June, passing the longest possible distance for good imaging of Jupiter, New Horizon was placed back into hibernation. For the next seven years the spacecraft spent the majority of its time in hibernation mode, except for periodically awakening to test system functionality. The flight plan has New Horizon crossing the orbital boundary of Saturn on June 8th, 2008 and cut through the orbit of Uranus on March 18th, 2011.

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It just earlier this month that NASA sent the ‘wake-up’ order, once again, to the spacecraft to make the final 93 second burn aligning it with an orbit around Pluto. New Horizon is scheduled to arrive at the dwarf planet Pluto on July 14h, 2015. This scheduled arrival has NASA and all the scientific community, world wide, chomping at the bit for all the new data and images. This will be the very first manmade object to orbit a dwarf planet and navigated within The Kuiper Belt.

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Searching for the Boundary between Interstellar space and the Heliosphere

Searching for the Boundary between Interstellar space and the Heliosphere

[9]

(Searching for the Boundary between Interstellar space and the Heliosphere)

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This is a major accomplishment for; America, NASA, and mankind as a whole. We must continue our exploration of our solar system and of space. There is no end to the knowledge we will gain about; gravity and gravitational forces, magnetism, planet formation, and even the discovery of new elements. One thing that most people are not aware? IN the 80’s, 90’s and early 21st century we watched as computer processors (CPUs) became faster and faster. First 1GHz, then 2GHz, then 3GHz the major chip manufactures (Intel and AMD) were in a “Speed Race’ to see which company could beat the 4GHz speed limit, break it and sustain.

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Well, both companies achieved the 4GHz speed limit, and could slightly and briefly break that speed. However, it all came to a Big STOP there after. Not known to the general public (the the reason tablets were introduced and desktops were geared back) was that these chip manufactures had hit NOT a speed limit due to design or desire. No, rather, they had hit a limit of ELEMENTS! Both Intel and AMD had many designs for SINGLE CORE processors going 5GHz and 6GHZ and better. Thing was? When built these chips would simply… melt!

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More precisely the insulation materials could not stand up to the heat generated and simply no longer insulated. Everyone was all ready to go up to 5… 6… 7… 87.. 9GHz but mankind simply does not have elements to use as adequate insulators! Mankind needs NEW elements!!! They cannot and will not be found on Earth! So long as we are limited by the current number of elements on the Periodic Table, we will never continue on our Speed Race in computer processors, and that is a terrible shame.

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Flight Plan and Schedule for New Horizon Spacecraft

Flight Plan and Schedule for New Horizon Spacecraft

[10]

(Flight Plan and Schedule for New Horizon Spacecraft)

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Our journey into space is not limited to wonderful images, the thrill of a man walking on another planet’s surface, and the accompanying expansion of technologies. We need to continue, and even accelerate, our exploration and MINING of other planets, asteroids and dwarf planets. It is only through this exploration and discovery that we will advance all technologies and sciences.

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Starting July 14th of this year mankind will take the closest look at the furthest planet in our solar system. This is not just exploration and discovery. This is human evolution in its purest form. New Horizon could show us more about the beginnings of our solar system; give up new facts about gravity and its correlation with magnetism and maybe even give us a glimpse at what lies beyond our solar system.

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As more information and images come in from New Horizon I will share them with you all, My Dearest Shoevians. NASA and the American taxpayer have, once again, brought mankind a little further. Carried us deeper in space and no to the very edge of our solar system. I am confident that for every journey, every dollar, and every endevbour we will reap knowledge that will move us forward as a people and as a nation. Space exploration is an investment! It is a very long term investment, but it always pays off… and one day it will pay off big time and we will find the ‘new element’ that allows our chip manufactures to continue their Speed Race’ to faster and faster computers and processors.

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Pluto and Charon from New Horizon Closest Point Yet!

Pluto and Charon from New Horizon Closest Point Yet!

[11]

(Pluto and Charon from New Horizon Closest Point Yet!)

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Thank you all, My Dear Shoevians, for dropping by and reading this edition of ‘Lost in Space’. I hope that I have peaked your interest, expanded your understanding, and given you plenty of ‘Food for Thought’. This brings to close my publications for this week. Tomorrow, Saturday, I will publish ‘A Week in Review’ and then on Sunday I will publish a very special edition of ‘Sunday Funnies’. It will be ‘A Tribute to Alexander R Hanning’. The star of Sunday Funnies for several years, and my most recent loss. I hope that everyone drops by and checks out his newest videos and my homage to him and his work here at The Other Shoe.

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New Horizon’s Arrival at Pluto – Artist Concept

New Horizon’s Arrival at Pluto – Artist Concept

[12]

(New Horizon’s Arrival at Pluto – Artist Concept)

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Thank you!

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Adieu!

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© 2010 – 2015 Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

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Author/Editor Danny Hanning in Rolling Hills Estates February 2015

Author/Editor Danny Hanning in Rolling Hills Estates February 2015


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