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Layered glaciers in Mars’ glacier country

Layered glacier in Mars' glacier country
Click for full image.

Cool image time. The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken on August 30, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows two different impact craters in a glacial region dubbed Nilosyrtis Mensae, located in the northern mid-latitudes in the 2,000 mile long strip chaos terrain that I have labeled glacier country because practically every image finds them there.

The splash apron surrounding the larger crater is typical of craters in Martian regions where ice is thought to be near the surface.

What makes this picture interesting is that the glaciers appear layered. You can see evidence of this in the mounds inside both craters. Those mounds appear to represent earlier periods when there was more ice here. Since then the mounds have partly sublimated away.

You can also see evidence of layers in the material surrounding the nearby larger mounds.

The map below shows us where this image is, relative to all of glacier country as well as the rover Perseverance in Jezero Crater.

Overview map

The white cross marks the location of this image, at 41 degrees north latitude. Perseverance is a bit more than a thousand miles to the southeast, at about 18 degrees north latitude.

At this location, practically every image screams glaciers and ice. At Perseverance, only 23 degrees of latitude further south, the ground is dry.

Maybe the most interesting feature in this photo is the smaller crater. The impact appears to have drilled into the icy mounds, leaving a crater with no upraised rim on the high mound side, and no rim at all on the low side. Most intriguing.

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.

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