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A verde valley on Mars

A verde valley on Mars
Click for original image.

In the southwest where I live, a valley dubbed “verde” (which means “green” in Spanish) is generally a place with a somewhat persistent river with lots of lush plant life. The Verde Valley in Arizona is the perfect example, with “close to 80% of the valley’s land … national forest.”

On Mars there is also a verde valley, but the name is not descriptive in the least. The picture to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, was taken on January 22, 2023 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and shows one section of the Martian Verde Vallis, draining south to north.

The dark rippled patches inside this shallow canyon are sand dunes. In fact, though MRO has not taken many high resolution images of Verde Vallis, every one shows the valley with further patches of ripple dunes. See for example this image of a section of the valley just a bit farther north.

Overview map

The overview map to the right provides some context. The inset shows Verde Vallis, with the black dot marking the location of today’s cool image. The black square in the overview map shows the location in the southern cratered highlands, in the dry equatorial regions about 1,400 miles due east of where the rover Opportunity once roamed.

The Martian Verde Vallis, about seventy miles long, is a dry place. Its canyon might have once harbored either a river or a glacier draining downhill from the cratered highlands into Arabia Terra, the largest transition region leading to the northern lowland plains. Now only sand dunes travel its length, pushed along slowly by the thin Martian winds.

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. All editions can also be purchased direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets 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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