Click for full image.
It has been several months since my last Martian pit update, mostly caused by the lack of new pit images coming down from the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). I think this lack is not because of a lack of additional pits or caves but instead signals the completion of a first high resolution survey of the known pits so far found on Mars. A full list of all past pit updates can be found at the bottom of this post.
Regardless, the image to the right, cropped to post here, is the only such image in months, taken on April 14, 2020, and shows a small isolated pit in the lava slopes between the giant volcanoes Arsia and Pavonis Mons. In the full photograph you can see how isolated is this pit. To the limits of the image there are no other such features, the terrain a relatively smooth plain with only some small ridges and and a scattering of what seem to be partly obscured or eroded small craters.
The overview below map shows this pit’s relationship to the volcanoes as well as to all other known nearby pits.
The white box indicates this pit’s location. The black boxes are all the other pits documented in earlier posts on Behind the Black. The nearest other pit to the north, highlighted in a post in February 2019, is very similar, a single sudden pit in the middle of a relatively featureless plain.
In fact, most of the pits in this area are alike, isolated pits with no other related features. If they are skylights into lava tubes, those tubes show no expression on the surface, which suggests they are either deep underground or simply don’t exist. The assumption that these pits are skylights into larger cave systems is based on Earth experience. On Mars however volcanic lava flow might express itself in different ways.
To better understand this geology we simply have to enter these pits and explore them.
All Martian pit posts since 2018:
- November 12, 2018
- January 30, 2019
- February 22, 2019
- April 2, 2019
- May 7, 2019
- July 1, 2019
- August 12, 2019
- September 20, 2019
- November 19, 2019
- November 26, 2019
- February 20, 2020
- February 28, 2020
- May 22, 2020
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.
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 available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can 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. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.
Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.