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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.

4. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
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Endless ripple dunes in Mars’ third largest impact basin

Ripple dunes in Mars' third biggest impact basin
Click for original image.

Cool image time! The picture to the right, cropped to post here, was taken on November 30, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

The section cropped shows only a small portion of the endless ripple dunes seen in this area. The color strip provides us some interesting other details as well as mysteries. The orange indicates dust on the ridges as well as the higher terrain near the center of the picture. The green in the hollows as well as to the east and west suggests coarser materials that have settled in lower elevations. This supposition is reinforced by the orange area near the bottom of the picture where the ripples have mostly dissipated. This is a high spot, and we appear to be looking at a dusty surface. (This impression is clearer in the full image.)

The latitude is high, 48 degrees south, but as far as I know orbital images have not found a lot of ice evidence in this part of Mars.

Overview map

The red dot on the overview map to the right marks this location. These ripples are near the center of Argyre Basin, the third largest impact basin on Mars, about a thousand miles wide, 17,000 feet deep, and formed approximately four billion years ago, give or take a half billion years.

These dunes are probably oriented all the same way because of prevailing winds. They are probably so extensive because any Martian dust that falls into Argyre probably gets trapped here. The atmosphere is too weak to blow the dust up and out.

One extra tidbit: If you click on the full image, you can see a very distinct and inexplicable short ridgeline, as sharp as a knife, that pops up for only about 2,000 feet. What caused it to appear here is a mystery, with your guess is as good as mine.

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.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


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