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On February 5, 2023 I will celebrate my 70th birthday. Yay! As I do every year during this birthday month, I run a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work 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.

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5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
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A thick and syrupy flow on Mars

A thick and syrupy flow on Mars
Click for full image.

Overview map

Cool image time! The photo above, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, was taken on March 5, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows what the scientists label as a “viscous flow feature,” which is another way of saying the flow was thick and syrupy.

Nor is such a flow unusual in this area of Mars. It is located in a region of chaos terrain dubbed Protonilus Mensae, which is also the central mensae region in the 2,000-mile-long strip in the northern mid-latitudes of Mars I label glacier country. The overview map above of Protonilus Mensae — covering about 500 miles in width — shows how common such flows are in this place. The black rectangles mark the locations of other cool images I have featured, as follows:

The red rectangle indicates the location of today’s cool image.

The glacial aspect of everything in this region is even more emphasized by the wider view provided by MRO’s context camera below.

Wider context camera view
Click for full image.

North is now to the top of the photo. The large flow in the middle of this picture is the same flow in the high resolution image above.

Notice how this flow has eaten away at a large portion of its mesa. Notice also the numerous other similar flows along that same north-facing slope. Everything here appears impregnated with water ice, which over time and the cyclical swings in the red planet’s rotational tilt get alternatively heated and cooled. During periods of heating the ice sublimates away, the ground becomes structurally weaker, and these flows occur. During cooling the ice hardens, and the flows stop. Scientists presently think we are in the latter situation, though this is not yet confirmed with great certainty.

The global map below gives us a planet-wide context. The two hatched lines at 30 degrees north and south indicate the closest to the equator such glacial features have been identified. The areas outlined in white mark regions like Protonilus Mensae — which is located in the northern mid-latitudes — where such glacial features dominate.

Click for high resolution version.

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.

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