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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.

 

Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.

 

Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.

 

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You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.


Martian ridge sticking up out of a lava flood plain

Martian ridge sticking up out of a lava flood plain
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, was taken on August 9, 2020 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and was featured today as this camera’s picture of the day. As today’s caption notes:

This observation focuses a ridge that is standing above the old lava surface of the floor of Echus Chasma. What is this ridge doing here? Is it preexisting material surrounded by lava? Is it material pushed up at a restraining bend? If the ridge is not lava, it may have colorful flanks.

The overview map below shows that this location in Echus Chasma is even more interesting, as some scientists believe it once also held a large lake.

Overview map

The small white dot near the southern terminus of Echus Chasma marks the location of this ridge. The blue area in the Chasma is the theorized lake, held in by an ice dam (the white line). The black areas to the north mark a specific lava event the length of the Columbia River that came from Tharsis Thous and covered Kasei Valles in only a matter of weeks.

This image suggests that the southern parts of Kasei Valles, in Echus, also had their own flood lava events, events so extensive that the lava covered many surface features. The ridge thus could be the top of a much higher mountain that is now mostly hidden below the lava. It is also possible it is a lava extrusion pushed through a fissure.

Whether these volcanic events occurred before, during, or after the hypothesized lake is not known.

Conscious Choice cover

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.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

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