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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support 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. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, 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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Colliding galaxies

Merging galaxies

The string of amazing galaxy images coming from the Hubble Space Telescope continues. The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was released today and shows an object dubbed VV-689 that is believed to be two galaxies in the process of colliding and merging.

The angelic image comes from a set of Hubble observations that took a closer look at “Zoo Gems,” interesting galaxies from the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project. This crowdsourced program relies on hundreds of thousands of volunteers to classify galaxies and help astronomers wade through a deluge of data from robotic telescopes. In the process, volunteers discovered a gallery of weird and wonderful galaxy types, some not previously studied.

This image will lay the groundwork for more detailed research. Right now it appears no one has even estimated its distance.

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.


  • Jeff Wright

    So pure,

  • Col Beausabre

    Sure hope the aliens had collision insurance

  • iowaan

    Does anyone else see a face in that picture?

  • Gary M.

    This post prompted me and my astronomy buddies to try to observe this object. It was positioned nicely for our evening of observing on April 23, 2022. Here are my notes:

    Hickson 40 (PGC27509) (ARP231)
    Constellation Hydra
    Mag +13.77
    Distance 300 Mly
    Observing Location: Bonanza Conservation Area, Caldwell County Missouri
    Transparency: Excellent
    Seeing: Excellent
    Power: 310X
    Temperature: 52 degrees F
    Wind: South at 3 knots
    Date: April 23, 2022
    Time: 10:23PM local CDT
    Instrument: Newtonian, 18.5″ mirror @ f/3.5

    Tight group that appears as one lumpy object, very faint, very small, round with faint lumps apparent with averted vision, these lobes are the adjacent Hickson 40b, 40c, 40d, and were glimpsed intermittently.

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