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In celebration of my birthday on February 5, 2023, I am running a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work 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.


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December 4, 2022 Quick space links

These links are courtesy of myself, as it is Sunday and want to provide them quickly so I can do other things.



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.


  • Darwin Teague

    Check out this article decrying this “Huge” new satellites that is now one of the brightest objects in the sky, destroying astronomy.

    It is 693 square feet, a fraction of the size of the ISS’s solar array.

    Talk about hyperbolic headlines!

  • Jeff Wright

    That’s Blue Walker…think a Lower orbit version of the Orbital Antenna Farm.

    It (they) will allow your cell phone to be a satellite phone. No 500$ Starlink terminal. Big terminal means smaller sats…smaller means you have bigger sats.

  • Gary

    I track satellites regularly using the site. I’ve found it quite reliable regarding locations, tracks, times and magnitudes. Blue Walker’s magnitude is never listed as brighter than 3.0 and frequently in the 4s and 5s. The reports in the above link are not in line with observations from the satellite site. Another issue is that satellites are not stationary. They move quickly – depending on time and position above horizon, anywhere from seconds to 5 minutes of visibility. I find it hard to believe they are that disruptive of astrophotography.

    And finally, as Bob has said numerous times, get rid of the issue entirely with space based telescopes.

  • Lee S

    @Gary… I think it’s wrong to disregard the threat to ground based astronomy from huge satellite constellations, even if this particular one has been over hyperboled. Once they are up, they are up.

    Ground based telescopes, especially given adaptive optics, will be the “go to” in astronomy for many years to come. Have you had a look at the bills for Hubble and the James Webb? For most purposes, big mirrors on the ground are here stay for now.

  • Gary

    Lee, you have a good point IF we base our costs for space based telescopes on the economics of being put up by government space programs. If we use SpaceX and other suppliers as the basis for costs, that should make the economics much more favorable.

    For reference, this:

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