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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). It shows a variety of ridges in a region of Mars called Arabia Terra, which is also the largest transition zone between the Martian southern cratered highlands and the northern lowland plains.
While this picture illustrates some nice geological facts about Mars (see below), I post it simply because of the dramatic sharpness of the ridge on top of the mesa, which I guess is several hundred feet high, but only a few feet across, at most, at its peak. A hike along this ridgeline would be a truly thrilling experience, one that the future human settlers on Mars will almost certainly find irresistible. Put this location on your planned tourist maps of Mars. It will likely be an oft-visited site.
Now for the geology. The black dot just south of 30 degree north latitude marks the location of this mesa. As it is in the dry equatorial regions, it is thus no surprise that the terrain in this picture appears bone dry.
However, the parallel small ridges to the south of the mesa, that are also aligned with the ridge, suggest to my eye the possibility of past glacial activity. Once, ice might have slid across this ground, leaving behind scour marks and those parallel ridges.
Or not. I am guessing. The parallel ridges could also be the result of wind erosion caused by north-south prevailing winds. These ridges might also be volcanic dikes, where lava pushes up through cracks, and remains long after the surrounding terrain erodes away because the lava is harder and more resistant to erosion.
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.
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.