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In celebration of my birthday on February 5, 2023, I am running a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


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Martian glaciers below 30 degrees latitude

A Martian glacier below 30 degrees north latitude
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The picture to the right, cropped, reduced, and sharpened to post here, was taken on September 28, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). While it shows what looks like a somewhat typical Martian glacial flow pushing through a gap between hills, this glacial flow is not typical. It sits at just under 30 degrees north latitude, closer to the equator than almost any glacial feature on Mars. Moreover, the younger impact crater on top suggests this glacier has been here for some time. Though the impact is younger than the crater, it is not that young, as the dark streaks normally seen in the first years after impact are gone.

Thus, this glacier suggests that not only can near surface Martian ice exist closer than 30 degrees latitude from the equator, it can survive there for a considerable amount of time.

Nor is this glacial flow, so close to the equator, unusual for this region of Mars.

Overview map

The white dot on the overview map to the right indicates the location of this glacier, flowing down from the south interior rim of an unnamed 25-mile-wide crater. The location is part of the easternmost part of Arabia Terra, the largest transition zone between the Martian northern lowland plains and the southern cratered highlands.

The two blue dots south of this crater however are two other craters with their own glacial features in their interiors, at 26.3 and 27.6 degrees north latitudes respectively. Even though this region is 500 miles south of glacier country, and closer to the equator than glaciers on Mars are generally found, here we have three craters with glacial fill.

Though the data is increasingly suggesting that the equatorial regions of Mars are very dry, with no ice close to the surface at all, these three glacial-filled craters are likely delineating the outside borders of this dry equatorial region.

These glaciers also suggest that elevation likely plays a part in allowing some equatorial ice to survive. The higher elevation here allows for colder temperatures. Future colonists on Mars will have to consider these factors in deciding where to build their colonies.

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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