Soil_Particles_in_OM_of_Phoenix_site

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danajohnson0







PostPosted: June 15, 2008 9:02 AM 

The Optical Microscope, and the various substrate bases, and, the nanobuckets screen for the AFM(Atomic Force Microscope), are providing a background for viewing the first closeup soil samples.
The particles are challenging and deserve attention from both geologists/crystallographers and biologist/astrobiology persons.
I'll display for all, available for downloading, some enlarged views, some altered, of the particles in these first views.
Add yours to cover my omissions, better my images, and, comment or identify, please.
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A view of the 'nanobuckets array screen' used for mounting particles on fixed size holes and pegs. Marked items are on the ~5 microns size array. Can anyone find Earth examples of geological matches for these? Are these not geological, crystalline, but possibly biological?
Many will find these shapes familiar from the Opportunity Meridiani site, and a few from Spirit at Gusev crater.
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A 300% enlargement of the nanobuckets image from sol 17, #247302. Four items altered.
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Full image credits, links to originals, archives, and more, in the topic list.

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PostPosted: June 15, 2008 10:32 AM 

A link for the original image of the 'nanobuckets array' with the soil particles attached to the textural surface. This is at the original size and settings. Some of the particles I adjusted for view are not showing the actual physical shapes and surface, and required my alterations for a better viewing. No sharpening was used, only adjustments in brightness, gamma, and contrast were made in my image enlargements.
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A further enlargement of the topic image, to 600% size increase from the original, with the same adjustments. One additional item on the far left was altered to show the darker core section of that 'starfish' shape, which appears rigid and broken in full shape, showing here a little more than half of the complex symmetric pattern. Following the Meridiani habit, this item has lighter toned 'arm' extensions, and a darker to medium core spheroid.
Image cropped smaller to accommodate my limits in file size. Larger images in PNG and TIF are planned for your use shortly, through a direct method.
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I issue this larger version, as many have difficulty seeing the small details in the images, and I don't recommend reading glasses which I started wearing when these Mars missions began sending soil particle photos with detail to the limits of monitor resolution. I wear a 1.00 set of cheaper reading glasses, and found my vision compromised temporarily, possibly permanently altered, now unable to focus at close range without the same lensing. I suggest you give using any glasses serious thought in that regard. I can, however, now see greater detail with these glasses, than prior to using them, even though I had better than 20/20 vision without them originally.

Original image credits to NASA,JPL,LPL,University of Arizona,Caltech, and many others, 2008.

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PostPosted: June 15, 2008 7:21 PM 

Released on sol 19, or June 13, 2008, was this combination image of the air fall dust stirred up by the lander on the left, and the soil particle sample first effort for the Robotic Arm scoop on the right.
Each set of items have unusual content, and curiously, each has a unique set of unexpected particle which are not found on the other photo. That tells me there is a vast collection of items to record during the mission.
This is a couple of images from a cropped section at the middle of the left side image. The link to the original, here, shows the items well, magnified greatly, but these images show the shadow detail in greater ease for some. A direct link to the image page.
Slightly altered in the first image, highly altered in the second. Magnification hasn't been stated as yet. This is 1.5x of the original. The angular sided item with the very regular dark spots is continuous in pattern, and has a brightly colored core 'stem'.
The crystal should be a target for a mineralogist or crystallographer.
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I'll present images from the right side image in the next reply posting.

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PostPosted: June 16, 2008 9:44 AM 

The right side of the dual image assembly above is from a larger Optical Microscope image found currently on the link page titled '.../phoeniximages/index.html", which shows access to the latest few images in several categories, and has a number of news release images, and composite images. These images may be updated on this page and replaced by others, or, the page may be lengthened until we reach the mission conclusion in a couple of months, approximately August/September. These source images are present on that page, with further direct page links at my numbered entries where each altered image is present.
A direct link of the first soil 'sprinkle' Optical Microscope test, with many particles present on the mounting substrate. On this page is shown a scale bar for referencing the estimated sizes of the particles on the composite image.
An additional page with official enlarged item images released in a news presentation. Some of these are the same particles I enlarged in this topic entry, some are not. The scale for reference of size indicates about 0.10 inch for the diameter of the total silicone substrate upon which the particles rest.
The images were issued sol 17, or June 11, 2008.

My slightly altered images, for persons unable to see the small details. These enlargements are not the originals, but based upon them, and are as accurate as I can produce thus far. The images degrade with enlargement and alteration, and many are JPG files at 100% quality setting, therefore the originals should be sought in any information which is important. The official archives is the only source to seek for accuracy. Hoping these may help some in viewing.

A enlarged view of the substrate at 4x, with a few of the particles altered within small framed areas to give shadow detail, or, to lessen the blocked highlight tones. No sharpening, only a change in brightness, gamma, or contrast when adjusting the small framed areas.
The images at this host have a 'click this line' mouseclick spot at the top of each large image. The image opens full frame within your browser, and enlarges to my full sized image upon your mouseclick. Quite a difference in size here. Two details altered in the full frame, shown as sub-images below if you need small file sizes. Also, the dpi(dots per interval) is set to 672(normal is about 72(Web) to ~300(printing)) on my file, if your image is unreasonable in size. This should be about two screen diameters total.
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At the upper left corner of the full frame.
A view of the crystal with light green secondary mineral crystals aligned on the primary crystal body. NASA has tentatively identified the green secondary crystals as Olivine, as a probability. The large primary crystal was not identified, and is probably an Iron associated mineral, as that mineral group have sub-angular ovoid crystals formed by some compound minerals within the list of that chemistry mix.
This is a 400% size increase, with the reduction in the brightness and contrast to allow detail. A JPG version, then a PNG.
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On the lower right side of the full frame, at 400% here.
A view of the two large soil items, one apparently a single mineral shape at right, and the left side item, appearing to be a cluster of disparate items, bound by some process.
The lower extension of a thin walled tubule which has curvature is very unusual for a geological item, and it seems to have a filament extending from the interior as free hanging longer item, curved toward the bottom of the screen, and appearing unattached and free hanging from the encasing tubule. At the resolution and blur conditions caused by the optical enlargement, and by the various photographic techniques and other processes, it is possible for items to change physical shape and association considerably, so, this is a surmised assembly description, not a fixed factual description, currently. If you have experience with microscopy, you can understand the varied way in which light can be manipulated by the small details of matter, and photographers can appreciate that these details can be illusive with lighting variations. The view seen is my best current understanding of what does not appear to be a geological assembly of details. Identification is pending to my reading at the Phoenix site news releases.
Other parts of this 'cluster' have well organized patterns and appear crystalline, although the binding agent, and chemistry cannot be tested, only estimated visually, in the equipment.
At 400%, with the shadow detail allowances in alteration, with no sharpening or other effects. First a JPG, then a PNG, of the same image cropping.
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Within this full frame image are several curved rod or tubular items which may or may not be single items, rather than assembled clustered lineages of smaller particles. The appearance is of a type of filamentary growth occurring as a singular item which attach's well to the smallest particles.
A small spheroid is found with attached shapes, closer to the left and lower of center.

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PostPosted: June 16, 2008 1:54 PM 

At this point I should make a more complete credits list of the groups involved with aspects of the Phoenix vehicle, mission, and oversight/archive processes. This listing is not complete, and I'll try to list additional contributors as the opportunity arises on pages.
The topic image matrix, or array, was produced by the Imperial College of London, and the main mission group consists of;

"The Phoenix mission is led by Principal Investigator Peter H. Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson, with project management at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and development partnership with Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver. International contributions for Phoenix are provided by the Canadian Space Agency, the University of Neuchatel (Switzerland), the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), the Max Planck Institute (Germany) and the Finnish Meteorological institute. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena."

The longer list obtained from this page, which gives illustrations of the lander science equipment packages as they are located on the lander body. For reference as a backdrop to the various instrument results displayed.

A further enlargement of the small items from the matrix, or array, at the topic image and reply #1. These are less accurate than the original, but they indicate several possible details which may help to map shapes, if they are shown to be reasonably accurate after later reworking. The items deserve close attention in the question as to whether they are strictly geological or mineral crystal objects in multiple parts.
The fact that these are common across Mars is important no matter what the composition of the items. Many of these are present in MER rover images of the past few years, at similar sizes, and larger. The repeat appearance confirms these items are common in occurrence on Mars, and broadly distributed, within areas suspected of being altered by water moisture, and periods of heat or other chemistry activity. Timing of the active periods are not certain, within the past two and one half billion years, to my reading.

One of the topic imaged items at 24x enlargement. The angularity of the core spheroid may be a product of original image limits and video software limitation. Something to study and challenge along the way. First a JPG very small file which shows no thumbnail preview, then a large(900kB) PNG file version of the same image. All 24x of the originals, very altered.
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A JPG of the symmetric repeated pattern item or 2 items, which is at the top of the matrix topic image. 24x size, highly altered in reduction of the glare and spill-over produced by the exposure of the very bright materials. The second image is a copy in PNG file type, about 1MB size, and a third copy in PNG which has been processed in a photo editor to show a tone mapping of sixteen tones in the sub-image, to show the actual shapes are following a classic repeated and very smooth and regular shaping, similar to a 'pepper' on a plant item. This could be a crystalline shape, with the stems, but this deserves study and concentration by professionals. These shapes are present in the soil particles of MER Meridiani area, as is the first spheroid shape above.
Notice no angularity is showing in the second shapes, whereas the same processing steps produced strong angularity in the first shape.
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16 tone mapping, still 24x size, highly altered.
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This may assist you in seeing these, or confuse you, however close attention to the details may obviate much in the years of further sample gathering, and aid in identification of any Earthly equivalents.


I am hoping this extreme alteration of detailed parts of images is not an embarrassment for the hosts of the marsroverblog group, Mark Carey, Richard, our moderator, and others participating, as the results of efforts can be mistaken or rather inaccurate at times.
One correction, in the entry #3 of the colorful silicone substrate disk with the 1 mm scale reference bar near the bottom. I finally measured the scale bar, applied that to the disk, and found the disk was NOT 0.10" as I described. The actual close measure seems to be a diameter of 3 mm, or nearly 0.12", or 1/8". Someone with an accurate set of figures may want to correct my own.

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PostPosted: June 16, 2008 1:58 PM 

Just posted this, and a mistake is obvious. At the next to the last image, promised as a PNG, I inadvertently repeated the JPG. This is the continuous tone PNG image, as stated.
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PostPosted: June 16, 2008 3:15 PM 

Now that the links are all checked, the pair of wrong images is apparent. I promise you I uploaded continuous tone files and then found the others indistinguishable in thumbnail form. Checking all the images, I have installed unique backgrounds for each type, and have uploaded them again. This should fix the problem of examples in reduced but continuous tonality.
I actually have to perform a half dozen operations in the uploads in a sequence, and Image Shack has a safety system to prevent mistaken coding selections. These are just to re-enforce your confidence in the actual view of the items prior to some alterations. A JPG, and then a PNG.
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Could this be a Monday?

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PostPosted: June 18, 2008 1:48 AM 

Interesting stuff Dana. It's high time we see the monsters they've been holding out on us, even if they're small.

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PostPosted: June 20, 2008 2:27 PM 

A tone mapped version of the micro spheroid from the topic image, reply 1, and reply 4, above, at 24x size of the issued news release 'nanobuckets' matrix. The keep all the items in a series by technique, not claiming to have any additional information on the item. This shows the angularity is gradual possibly, in shadow, but the way glare on a bright item disperses and reflects off of local items causes some blending of lighting angles, so the matter cannot be solved without the AFM at work to map the 3D of this type of item. We will be lucky to ever see these with the AFM(Atomic Force Microscope) device. The object has a great height and steepness to the sides. Determining the content by surface details may be possible if it can be used to the lower 'skirt' near the pegs on the array/matrix. To see so many of these at the Eagle crater area of Opportunity was an education in variability of whatever the content is. There is a very wide range of physical appearances, and some size variation. Even the core micro-spheroids are usually dark, and occasionally bright.

Try your own viewing in a photo editor/viewer, as these should be confirmed from the original source photos, not simply viewed here in my altered, magnifications, images.
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A GIF at 19kB in 16 tones mapped to the items brightness. Use a a topographical map approximately, following the way light plays across these tiny items from the side angle. Not accurate for depth, thickness, or even surface textures, at this magnification, but a general study in the surface shaping, organizational patterns, and a simple view of size, thickness. As a reference the round array of pegs in this image background are 5 microns in separation from each other. This item is several times the size of a red blood cell, for example. It is large for a bacterium. Another thing to consider is that the bright material may not be an actual aspect of the micro-spheroid. The assembly seen here may simply be a sticky mass of multiple items, not clearly separate due to the lack of resolution and detail. I am confident that it is a single item, as I see many in Opportunity MER MI images as this one appears, and at the same size range.
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A JPG of the same technique of alteration. These two images show a white background. The originals as in prior replies show the actual black background. About 21kB, same 24x, 16 tones.
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A JPG below with the black background, all else the same. About 48kB.
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A PNG large file of the same, 16 tones, 24x size. ~968kB.
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RW, I don't want to think of these as 'monsters', except as humor gesturing, as they may be someday found in our cosmetics and household cleaners, or, our mineral collections. Possibly even in our terrariums and rock gardens, if they seem to mix well with Earth items. Maybe the Mars we see is very innocuous and harmless. Perhaps just minerals and chemistry, prior to life's active organizing. Seems incredible to see so much repeated organization, and try to think of it as 'just rocks'. It makes little sense to us on Earth. Minerals and rocks on Earth are not this ordered, nor complex at this scale, to such a degree.
I can laugh with you that these can be the irony of 'Martians' smaller than fleas, with humans the giants of the pairing.
Noticed the results of the trench watching show the brighter material is dissipating, and presumed to be ice now on the 20th of June, 2008. An image animation of the trench bright material as it seems to 'vaporize'.
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I'm picking up some dry ice today for a closer look at a few aspects of the effect of dry ice on soil.
If you take a soda bottle and drop the temperature down to below freezing for the compressed liquid/CO2 gas in the bottle, the liquid contact surface of the bottle plastic will frost, but, the remaining air in the bottle has so little potential that the bottle plastic will not produce frost on the thin plastic surface where the gas is at both sides of the equation. The only frost which can form in the bottle is where a denser material has contact with the bottle 'skin' of plastic, against the warmer, moist room air outside the bottle. Even on the inside of the pressurized bottle no ice nor frost can form where the liquid is contacting the bottle 'skin'. It's a lesson in energy transfer, and possible accommodation of the very cold environment of Mars as it might apply to minerals, ices occurrences, and potentially active items like biology. The ices will not just form on all materials, nor, on all types of materials. Some items can escape frosting and even freezing under 'special' conditions even on Mars. They do so on Earth, but I am not familiar with biology playing a role in organizing to use the differential to survive the extreme of cold in particular, rather, the dryness of the deserts where water frost is used routinely to survive, as dew, ice, and perhaps even to house as in air-conditioning, during periods of the day and night. A solid ice container would be such a differing environment than the one routinely imagined for Mars potential life. The right materials activity could even produce pumps and wetness in a controlled setting.
No ponding or drainage seen at the trench ice spots, as expected.

What is the bright material which forms the basis for these items I have enlarged?

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PostPosted: June 20, 2008 3:16 PM 

dana>>>

Did you notice in the NASA gif you presented above in 8 that the 'ice' disappeared while in the shadow of the trench walls and the more open flat expanse of 'ice' in the sunlight did not sublimate?

Just an observation.

yt
dx

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PostPosted: June 21, 2008 11:31 AM 

I have some difficulty understanding the concept of an ice chemistry which can be present in substantial amounts at all, while the open air exposure of the trenching causes the 'evaporation' of the ice with the depth of the layer just an inch or so down below the very surface which causes the evaporation process. If the ice can be forced by the conditions of cold, and stay in bulk just below the surface over vast long lengths of time, I would think that the frost would perhaps be seen reappearing around the 'clumps' of thick ice, as it re-penetrated the soil immediately. The ice must be unstable much more in the day, and more present on the soil upper surface at night. The small details of the water cycle/ice cycle are a little fuzzy to me. We need a careful study here of the process. We can only do a good job studying that with a method of seeing the soil surface all night long, and at a macro/micro scale to watch the frosting as it occurs. It could be that the ice cannot form at the surface in the spring and summer in the latitudes Phoenix sits at. Maybe the frost can only migrate by a layer a molecule, or a few, thick, as it migrates along the particles back into the layer we can see exposed.
Using the analogy of the soda pop 2 liter bottle which I freeze each day, the super chilled liquid will cause a frosted surface of the plastic along only the liquid dense cold areas which are in an energy draining action condition, whereas the thin plastic bottle does not frost above the dense liquid level. We do not see any horizontal travel of movement at short time scales on Earth on the bottle, but it could be effected to build up the frost at the liquid surface level over time, on many days in sequence, while I tilted the bottle at angles to cause a unstable temperature along the margins of the liquid, giving a preferential buildup lower along the margin of the liquid level 'fill' line. The ice would be much thicker in a steady cold environment eventually at lower levels then. I did this for minutes and it worked. It should work over geologic time periods as well, building a thick layer of ice.
The problem with my analogy is several. The soda would freeze up at some time, as happens on Mars. Also the thin plastic would accumulate some frost at the atmospheric(air) zone as well in extreme cold, giving some ice at the equivalent soil surface, on the bottle. The process on Mars is some balance between the extreme re-radiation of heat into the upper direction of space at nights, and the permafrost extreme cold below the surface.
There is just so much water vapor on Earth that we expect a cycle matching the experiences we see here. Mars is going to take some adjustments in our thinking to give a explanation of the buildup being stable at selective 'zones'. It may be the chemistry that ice has produced is more conducive, even more conductive, at the buildup zone, and that the various chemistries of the iron and 'rust' based minerals around it in the soil and the semi-solid 'clumps' are more hydro-phobic. Some Goethite and other minerals are hydro-phobic and would be less likely to have a deposit of water ice, if the ice is a simple water ice. This may also be some other chemistry dominated by the gradients of attraction to the volatile, presumably water. I can't wait for the oven results about bound water and hydroxide. Does anyone know how much hydroxide can be extracted and measured in the type of oven/calorimeter/spectrograph device they are using? Will we miss the partial water figure for some water such as the oxygen bound as an oxide? The loss of hydrogen seems to not be happening at the layer of ice, as was described happening on Mars over geologic time.Some minerals accept large amounts of transient water, not bound. I am not familiar with the amounts of frost/ice which various minerals will accept. Will we really be able to predict the process there even with the results of Phoenix?
Surely the hydrazine fuel has dissipated by now- it must be water ice. The dry ice(CO2) in my freezer doesn't last a day, when placed there.

To answer you simply, yes, it seemed odd. The layer is stable somehow. What shape would the 'layer' take underground, and would it be a thin level? Ore lodes of ice buildup?

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PostPosted: June 22, 2008 8:40 PM 

Another item from the original Optical Microscope image #4869, in vivid color at 400% of the full frame original issued as a news release.
This is a micro spheroid with extensions which are binding additional items to the assembly, giving a 'life-like' animated shape surface. The JPG is altered by lightening only, with a slight color balance reduction in the green LED light. The PNG is unaltered other than being enlarged, with the DPI increased in the process.
Even this item appears far more orderly and complex than a chance concretion assembly.
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Lower center of the substrate microscope mounting disk.
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I have a couple trench ice altered photos which I believe show the migration of the ice across the open surface during sublimation, and I had to make a substantial increase in the hue saturation of the colors to reinforce the appearance of strengthened blue coloration of the denser ice. You might take a look and give some criticism of the altered images. They may need to be re-worked, or the idea scrapped altogether, possibly. I believe the ice seeks the closest point of reformation, rather than a vision of a vaporous 'fog' which dissipates generally before the ice is reformed. Much like chemistry in a water solution. The required formation of crystalline ice is similar to the production of crystals in the soil which probably is underway in the area of ice. The combined effect would be the small white items we are seeing in the OM substrate and AFM matrix particle collections. If the items are mineral crystalline formations they are affected by the ice formation cycling. If they are more active, and have a similarity to Earth biology, they would probably require the ice immersion, or association. A mutual-ism process either way.
On Earth this ice would have disappeared faster. It appears to be controlled by conditions other than simple ice setting in the Sun, even if it is migrating to a 'lode' formation.
Something missing as yet in the story.
The images will be posted in the layered trench topic underway. One image here.
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The photo cropping above is from a RAC image, not a microscope image. The right side image four days in the sunlight, shows ice(bright material) thinning in most areas, and becoming denser and brighter at the lower areas, and center,of the patches. The difference is slight, but as you have said, the sunlight would evaporate the ice on Earth, and it would be expected on Mars as well. Even the extreme cold should not produce the stability nor the coalescence of the ice into a smaller diameter thicker surface deposit.
I believe the shadowed ice has transported to the main core 'lode', along with the outer patches. Perhaps it will migrate underground over time?
Is there an alternative? Is the production of water a process ongoing external to the concept of sublimation? Is there a 'hidden' source of water/ice on Mars? Can that be additional to sublimation?

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PostPosted: June 22, 2008 8:59 PM 

I gave the impression above that evaporation would be similar on Mars and Earth. That was not my intended statement. The sunlit ice should have been actively responding to the sunlight and radiation, heat, etc. It has coalesced in appearances, but appears to do so in a action in the direct sunlight energy source. Will we observe the migration somehow physically, or interpret it only indirectly in the instrument work?
The severe limitation of the 'ice' deposit leaves a 'ring' at the margin, and altered soil formations around its domain as it migrates.

Dana Johnson


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PostPosted: May 7, 2011 11:40 PM 

The 'peppers' shape item is updated on the image host with an insert and better marked view on a 4X enlarged 'nanobuckets' color original.
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Joe Smith


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PostPosted: May 30, 2014 2:12 PM 

Wow,, re-reading your old posts Dana.

Much more slowly this time, in order to attempt (underline attempt) to follow your thought process(s),, I find it slow, for me, going but totally interesting and oddly gratifying(?),

Only a fool can never be corrected, nor can a fool learn as he (or she) can only see their own perspective.

I like this statement;;; ''The severe limitation of the 'ice' deposit leaves a 'ring' at the margin, and altered soil formations around its domain as it migrates.''

I think perhaps you might be on to more than you realize (as Kye is).

As I don't seem to find any recent post(s)from you.. I hope,, all is well.




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