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Glacial features in a Mars crater at 29 degrees south latitude?

Glacial features in Mars crater
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken on January 2, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Simply labeled “slope features,” it was likely taken to monitor the gullies and streaks on the interior walls of this 4-mile-wide crater. Scientists have been using MRO to track the coming and going of frost on this crater’s interior walls since 2016.

Equally intriguing however are what appear to be squashed layers within the crater’s interior. These appear to be some form of glacial feature created by repeated climate cycles, similar to the glacial features routinely seen throughout the 30 to 60 degree mid-latitude strips north and south.

What makes the glacial features in this particular crater particularly intriguing is its location, as shown in the overview map below.

Overview map

The white cross marks the crater’s location, about 600 miles northwest from the edge of Hellas Basin, the death valley of Mars. More important, the crater sits at 29.8 degrees south latitude, which makes it one of the closest points to the equator where glacial features have been seen.

Elevation probably plays a part in allowing ice to form in this equatorial crater. While it is at a latitude where little or no ice is generally spotted, it is also in the midst of the southern cratered highlands, at an altitude about 20,000 feet higher than the northern lowland plains.

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 available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can 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. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

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