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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

4. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

A Martian slope streak caused by a dust devil?

A Martian slope streak caused by a dust devil?
Click for original image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped, sharpened, and enhanced to post here, was taken on January 5, 2023 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows the interior slope of an unnamed 9-mile-wide crater, located just south of the Martian equator.

On that slope are several slope streaks, their dark color suggesting they are relatively recent. Also on that slope is the track of a dust devil that traversed that across slope. The track and the top of one of those streaks match, suggesting the dust devil might have caused the streak.

Did it? Maybe. This image was certainly taken to try to find out. Right now scientists do not know what causes slope streaks, a phenomenon unique to Mars. Though they look like avalanches, they do not change the topography at all, and sometimes flow over rises. If anything, they appear to be a stain on the surface, caused by some unknown process.

Overview map

The white dot near the center of the overview map to the right, just outside the Medusae Fossae Formation of volcanic dust, marks the location of this crater. Its nearness to the thick ash of Medusae is likely the source of the thick dust on this crater’s interior slope, as well as the streaks, since slope streaks are only found on slopes with layers of very fine dust.

If the dust devil did cause the streak, it might eliminate at least one theory as to their formation, which posits that the morning sunlight in equatorial regions causes them.

Or not. Maybe the streaks are caused by more than one phenomenon. Since we at present don’t know the process that forms them, it is difficult to then theorize about the specific event that generates them.

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.

One comment

  • Star Bird

    Have you ever seen a Dust Devil? I Have and according to the Indians its either good or evil depending upon which way its Spinning/Rotating

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