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Glaciers in the Phlegra Mountains on Mars

Glaciers in the Phlegra mountains
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped to post here, is just one of the many hundreds taken by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) as well as Europe’s Mars Express orbiter showing the thick icy glacial flows that surround practically every mountain or hill in the Phlegra mountains of Mars.

This picture was taken on November 3, 2021, and shows the eroding foot of an eroding glacial flow coming down from a small hill in a southeastern part of these mountains dubbed Phlegra Dorsa. The downward grade is to the north.

At 30 degrees north latitude it is not surprising these glacial flows are eroding, as they are at the southernmost limit of the mid-latitudes bands where such glaciers are found. Closer to the equator scientists have yet to find much evidence of ice.

The repeating arcs at the foot of this glacier suggest that it pushed downward in cycles, with each later cycle traveling a shorter distance. This supposition makes sense, considering scientists think the ebb and flow of these Martian glaciers has been determined by the cyclical changes in the planet’s rotational tilt.

The overview map below not only gives the context, it shows this location relative to the candidate landing sites for SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft.


The yellow dot indicates the location of these eroded glaciers. The black dots were high-res images taken initially by MRO when SpaceX’s was planning to land a Dragon capsule on Mars. The numbered white dots were later images taken for Starship. The red dots indicate Starship’s four prime candidate landing zones presently being considered.

Today’s image is about 150 miles away from the nearest Starship landing site, #9 to the northwest.


Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


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.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • BtB’s Original Mark

    “I have seen things you people wouldn’t believe.

    “While climbing the icy Phlegra Mountains on Mars, I’ve been enveloped by lightning infused dust storms 20 kilometers high…..”

    Replicant Anton

  • wayne

    Philip K Dick
    “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”
    Random House Audio

  • BtB’s Original Mark


    Do YouTubers (specifically you) Dream of Electric Subscribers?
    I suppose I should express gratitude. It looks like I’ll have an extra nine hours to listen to PKD since
    Winter Storm Kenan is on its way with Heavy Snow, Strong Winds and hopefully Blizzard Conditions.

  • wayne

    “John Carter of Mars”
    Bob Clampett, test animation (1936)

  • wayne

    Original Mark–
    I’m on the Lake Michigan coast, we just had 2 back-to-back snowstorms (the infamous “lake effect snow.”) Very cold (5-ish) but nothing like Minnesota.

    Har– I don’t even have an account for YT. Unfortunately (or not) the monetization-window has come and gone with them.

  • Questioner

    The Soviet Mars 3 probe made the first successful soft landing on Mars ( May 28, 1971 at 15:26:30 UTC), although it stopped transmitting data 110 seconds later. Here is video with interesting original film sequences and animations.

    “The Secret Landings on Mars”

    ” …. The (Mars 2) mission was shortly followed by Mars 3, which completed its goal of becoming the first spacecraft to land on the red planet and capture footage of its rocky surface. Minutes after its activation, the rover began transmitting data back to Earth. But 14 seconds after it started moving, the first man-made object to reach Mars lost signal. Before going black, the rover transmitted a fuzzy black and white image. It then went silent forever. ….

  • Questioner

    Correction to my comment on the Soviet Mars 3 probe:

    Launch: May 28, 1971 at 15:26:30 UTC
    Landing: December 2, 1971 13:52 UTC

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