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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.


Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


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Another Rosetta close-up of Comet 67P/C-G

Close-up Comet 67P/C-G

Cool image time! As Rosetta completes a several weeks of in-close observations it took the above oblique view (cropped and reduced to show here) of Comet 67P/C-G. The image was taken from about 7.5 miles with a resolution of about 3 feet per pixel. It shows the Imhotep flat area with the large 80-foot-high Cheops boulder in the center. It is worthwhile to compare this image with one taken in January.. Though the angle is far different, you can recognize the same areas in Imhotep where some of the surface has apparently evaporated away.

What I especially like about today’s image is that it really gives one a feel for what it would be like to stand on the surface here. The light gravity allows some strange rock configurations, such as that giant weird balancing outcrop on the horizon. If you were standing in Imhotep that outcrop would hang above you threateningly.

The spacecraft is now moving away from the comet for the next few weeks

Following the brief encounter at these close distances, Rosetta is now heading out on an anti-sunward excursion to around 1000 km to investigate the comet’s wider coma, tail and plasma environment. Today, 24 March, Rosetta is already over 200 km away from the comet. The current plan is for Rosetta to make a 30 km zero phase flyby around 9 April, before entering back into closer bound orbits by 21 April.

Conscious Choice cover

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.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • ron kolotylo

    If people will download the hires jpeg of this picture
    open it with Irfanview
    select a section such as “the boulder”
    resize the section double x3
    and look at it they may be in for a surprise.
    “Strange rock formation” indeed.
    the Rosetta team were cute with their unembargoed Osiris NAC
    starting a week before the release of the new Star Wars
    which has a lot to do with space wreckage I am told.

  • Please note the last paragraph of my most recent post here. Make especial note of the last sentence.

    I think it is has everything to do with the comment above.

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