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I am now in the third week of my annual February birthday fund-raising drive. The first two weeks were good, but not record-setting.

 

There are still two weeks left in this campaign however. If you have been a regular reader and a fan of my work and have not yet donated or subscribed, please consider doing so. I take no ads, I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands (most of the time). Thus, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.

 

You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:

 

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. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.
 

3. 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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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter takes another look at the non-face on Mars

The non-face on Mars
Click for original image

In 2007, shortly after it began science operations in Mars orbit, the science team for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) pointed its high resolution camera at the so-called “Face on Mars”, taking a picture that confirmed (as had Mars Global Surveyor several years earlier) that this “face” was a non-face, simply a mesa whose features made it appear roughly facelike in low resolution imagery.

Now, more than sixteen years later, scientists have used MRO to take a new picture of the non-face mesa. That picture is to the right, cropped, reduced, and sharpened to post here. Compared to the 2007 photo the new photo has far better lighting conditions, revealing many details on the mesa’s eastern half that were mostly obscured by shadows previously.

In fact, these new details strongly suggest that the depression on the mesa’s eastern slopes harbors a decaying glacier. At least, that is what the features there resemble.

Overview map

This conclusion is not unreasonable, considering the non-face’s location as shown on the overview map to the right. Though it is far to the west from the region I label glacier country, it is in the same mid-latitudes. The northern lowland plains in this area have many near-surface ice features. For example, in the picture above it appears that an ice sheet abuts the base of this mesa on both its northeast and northwest sides.

Scientists probably decided to take a second picture of this mesa to see if anything had changed in the subsequent sixteen years. Though it appears nothing has changed, based on the resolution of the picture above, a much more detailed look will be required to confirm that conclusion. The new observations actually included two pictures, the one above taken on November 4, 2023, and a second taken on October 1, 2023. Using both together scientists will be able to create a 3-dimensional stereoscopic view, which will further help them find any changes from the 2007 image.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

 
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.


The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
 

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

11 comments

  • Allan

    It will always be known as the face on Mars.

  • Ferris

    Bob Zimmerman,

    The Face on Mars is, in fact, a “face”.

    It’s just that it has been seeing the same plastic surgeon as John Kerry.

    Try to accept known facts.

  • Col Beausabre

    Facts won’t stop the True Believers ™. They will insist that either a secret mission from Area 51 set demolition charges and blew up the face or the Reptiloids in NASA had their Space Alien allies do it.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Col B – How did you find out the truth????!!!!!??????!!!!

  • Shallow Minded Reader

    We won’t know until we get there. If we do get there and it really is some form of archeology, would they tell us?

  • David M. Cook

    There was an earlier high-resolution image taken right around the turn of the century. I had a subscription to AWST at the time and showed the picture to my co-workers. Just an eroded mesa, what a let-down!

  • Hartely and David M Cook: I do link to this 2007 image in my post itself. Why did you not notice?

  • Mike

    A 3 km long mesa that is Not A Face.

    Not A Face Yet.

    Not until we get there with a couple bulldozers.

  • Max

    Next you’ll be telling us that that the five sided pyramid built by an alien race isn’t real either… Even though they made a documentary about it narrated by Arnold Schwarzenegger? Totaled out recall or something….

  • Ronaldus Magnus

    What no one has told us, and can only be revealed now, is that a few people with way too much time on their hands became very, very inebriated, also known in some vernaculars as ‘faced’ and saw faces in many places.

    My other favorite is the Cydonia Pyramid Complex. I remember books written on the Cydonia Pyramid Complex. Some even postulated that the humans on Earth are the ancestors of the Cydonia Pyramid Complex. If so, do we all have “a right to return” and claim our piece of Martian real estate?

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

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

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

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