Scroll down to read this post.


Without the support of my readers 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. If you wish to add your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, you can do so 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. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. 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

An ice-covered mountain on Mars?

Ice-covered mountain on Mars?
Click for full image.

Grinnell Crater in Glacier National Park in 2017

Today’s cool image, taken on July 1, 2020 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, is of a mound-like mountain on Mars that to all intents and purposes appears covered by glacial ice, some eroded, some not.

The image to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, shows this mound. Both the flow coming down from the mountain top down the north slope as well as the flow in the north that appears to begin in a small crater suggest glacial features.

Even more convincing are what appear to be patches of glacial ice on the southern slopes, resembling the kind of glacial patches you see everywhere in Glacial National Park. The second photo to the right, taken by me on our visit to Glacier National Park in 2017, shows similar patches hugging the mountainside at Grinnell Glacier.

This Martian mountain is located in the southern hemisphere inside Hellas Basin on its eastern interior rim. (See the overview map below, with the location of this photo the small white box south of Harmakhis Valles.) Thus, you would expect the north-facing slope to get more sunlight (and more heat) than the south-facing slopes. Yet, from this image there appears to be greater erosion on the south-facing slopes. A puzzle indeed.

Overview map

I have previously posted other images of glacial-like features in the region around Harmakhis Valles and Reull Valles. See:

All show, as today’s image does, what look like typical glaciers flowing down mountains’ slopes.

Close-up of mound's peak

What makes today’s mound however even more intriguing are the features at its peak. The photo to the right focuses on the area in the white box in the first image above, at full resolution.

Up close the glacial-like nature of the patches on the southern slope is even more evident. More fascinating however are the swirls and layers at the peak. They are suggestive of many layers of glaciers, placed down, one on top of the other, during many past climate cycles, that are now being exposed due to erosion and sublimation.

This pattern also suggests that once on Mars there was more water for making ice. Once, this mountain was entirely covered with many layers at its peak. Recent climate cycles however have not produced enough new ice here during colder periods at this location to rebuild those mountaintop glaciers. Thus, wind erosion and later warm cycles have worn those layers away, exposing 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. 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.


  • Jeff

    If there are so many glaciers sublimating away, wouldn’t we be able to detect signs of excess hydrogen/oxygen in the atmosphere, no matter how thin? I realize the current average temperature on Mars is very cold and sublimation may have slowed before we had instruments capable of such measurements. Has there been any recent evidence of such changes in the Martian atmosphere during the summer/winter swing around the Sun? Or are the current slate of instruments on and around the planet not sensitive enough?

    As always, thanks for the Cool Images and the mind exercises.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Where’s the beauty, calm, and couth?

  • Rob

    Mars’ glaciers are melting? How did we do that?

    I thought anthropogenic climate change was only on Earth?

    …it’s almost as if our common variable (the sun) is the true source of climate change.

  • George True

    Based on the 500 foot scale on the lower right corner, the area in the white box would be slightly more than one square mile of Martian terrain. It is amazing how crisp and clear this photo is, even at full resolution. And it certainly does look like ice at the base of the escarpment.

    So with the Mars Reconnisance Orbiter’s ability to take high resolution photos like this, it makes me wonder why we have so far seen no high resolution photos of the Face on Mars and some of the other ‘interesting’ features at Cydonia, such as what appears to be a gigantic four-sided pyramid. If NASA is so convinced it is all nothing, then how about some high-res photos from MRO to prove it?

  • George True: One of the first pictures taken by MRO’s high resolution camera was of the face on Mars. See:

    Taken in 2007.

    It is a mesa, pure and simple.

    If you review all the images in the Cydonia region, you will find none of the “alien” foolishness pushed by uneducated media types. It is all geology, though sometimes unusual and different than anything we see on Earth.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *