Drastic changes in Mars South Pole icecap

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.

Mars South Pole 2007
Mars South Pole 2015

Cool image time! Summer images taken by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter 8 years apart of a specific area of the Martian south pole icecap show significant and surprising changes.

The top image on the right was taken August 28, 2007. The bottom image was taken March 23, 2015, four Martian years later. As noted by the science team, the bright flat-topped mesas have shrunk by about half, while the dark rough low areas have grown, eating into the mesa walls.

Closeup study of this area would provide a wealth of knowledge. It will also be very challenging, as the environment is harsh, hostile, and unstable. Imagine doing research in the Himalayas but with an unbreathable atmosphere and temperatures always far far below freezing.


Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.

Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


  • Seattle Steve

    Proof of catastrophic anthropogenic interplanetary global warming!

  • Cotour

    A video about actual climate change, in this case in the Sahara desert and not “climate change” the political agenda where pollution created by economic activity (read; dirty filthy capitalism) and its control is the agenda.


Leave a Reply

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