Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Colorful Vesta

False color of Vesta

Tonight’s press conference at the American Geophysical Union conference focused on the latest results from Dawn, orbiting the giant asteroid Vesta. Or to put it as scientist Vishnu Reddy put it, “Vesta is the most colorful asteroid in the solar system.”

At least, in geological terms. To our human eye the asteroid wouldn’t be so spectacular. However, the false color images released by the scientists show the global geological diversity of Vesta. From the press release:

In images from Dawn’s framing camera, the colors reveal differences in the rock composition associated with material ejected by impacts and geologic processes, such as slumping, that have modified the asteroid’s surface. Images from the visible and infrared mapping spectrometer reveal that the surface materials contain the iron-bearing mineral pyroxene and are a mixture of rapidly cooled surface rocks and a deeper layer that cooled more slowly. The relative amounts of the different materials mimic the topographic variations derived from stereo camera images, indicating a layered structure that has been excavated by impacts. The rugged surface of Vesta is prone to slumping of debris on steep slopes.

The data suggests that Vesta is divided into three regions.

  • The south pole, which is an impact basin. This area is lightly cratered.
  • The equatorial region, moderately cratered.
  • The northern region, with the most cratering. This region has not been completely imaged.

The south region was formed due to a large impact. The formation of the other two regions they think were related to additional large impacts at other and probably earlier times. “Vesta is completely beat up,” noted Reddy.

In addition, the scientists are beginning to study the strange dark material that seems to trail away from or across some impact craters. Though they do not yet understand what caused the dark streaks, the data does strongly suggest that they were not formed by volcanic activity. One theory is that the dark material is the remains of the object that impacted the asteroid.

The lack of volcanic activity was unexpected. Meteorites thought to come from Vesta had suggested melting or volcanism. Instead, the scientists now think that this evidence of melting was caused instead by the many impacts that have bombarded the asteroid.

“Vesta is clearly a transitional object between small asteroids and planets,” noted David Williams of Arizona State University. The asteroid is unique in that no other asteroid so far studied is as differentiated geologically as Vesta.

If you want, you can browse the images from this press conference here.

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