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I am now in the second week of my July fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black, celebrating its 14th anniversary. Thank you to everyone that donated so generously last week. I hope week two will do as well.

 

Your donations and subscriptions have allowed me the freedom and ability to analyze objectively the ongoing renaissance in space, as well as the cultural changes -- for good or ill -- that are happening across America. Four years ago, just before the 2020 election I wrote that Joe Biden's mental health was suspect. Only in the past two weeks has the mainstream media decided to recognize that basic fact.

 

Fourteen years ago I wrote that SLS and Orion were a bad ideas, a waste of money, would be years behind schedule, and better replaced by commercial private enterprise. Even today NASA and Congress refuses to recognize this reality.

 

In 2020 when the world panicked over COVID I wrote that the panic was unnecessary, that the virus was apparently simply a variation of the flu, that masks were not simply pointless but if worn incorrectly were a health threat, that the lockdowns were a disaster and did nothing to stop the spread of COVID. Only in the past year have some of our so-called experts in the health field have begun to recognize these facts.

 

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A jumble of blocks in the middle of a Martian flood lava plain

A jumble of blocks on Mars
Click for original image.

Cool image time! The picture to the right, cropped, reduced, and sharpened to post here, was taken on March 18, 2024 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

This is one of what I like to call “What the heck?” images. The broken up blocks resemble ice floes on the edge of the Arctic ice cap that have broken off and have begun floating away.

The problem with this theory is many fold. First, this is on Mars and not on Earth. Second the “sea” these blocks are supposedly “floating” in is actual solid lava. There is no water or ice here, on the surface or even underground. This is in the dry tropics of Mars, where little or no near-surface ice has so far been detected.

The overview map below provides some context, and possibly an explanation.

Overview map

The white dot in the middle of the Athabasca Valles flood lava plain marks the location. This flood plain is thought to be the most recent major lava event on Mars, taking place about 600 million years ago and covering an area about the size of Great Britain in only a matter of weeks.

The inset shows that this jumble of rocks is part of a six-by-seven-mile-wide patch that appears to sit on a slightly raised dome in that flood plain. My guess (which is wildly unreliable) is that these blocks formed as a smooth lava plain during an earlier lava event. Pressure from below raised the ground at this point, breaking up that earlier flood lava into these blocks, but lifting them high enough that the later Athabasca flood could not cover them.

As I said, I am guessing. Actual rock samples would need to be analyzed to determine their make-up and origin in order to get some real answers.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

 

The print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

 
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.


The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
 

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

3 comments

  • Jed H

    I keep seeing the blocks as holes or pits. My brain knows better but something about the photo makes it look like the are below the surface not above it.
    Thanks for the fantastic picture.

  • Jed H: The Sun is to the left. Try to imagine you are standing there, with the sun coming from that direction. That might help flip the picture.

    Another solution is to download the picture, and use a graphics program to literally reverse it.

  • Max

    I agree, it looks to be lifted from underneath. The earth appears bulged in that area as well as some of the blocks are tipped to the side, looking like listing ships.
    Interesting anomaly, some of the smaller structures cast the longest shadows. The heavier blocks settled back down with the smaller ones remained high in the air. From ground level, it probably looks like monument valley.

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