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.


Monument Valley on Mars

Monument Valley on Mars
Click for full image.

Today’s cool image is located near the Martian equator, in the middle of Arabia Terra, the most extensive region of the transition zone between the low northern plains and the southern cratered highlands. Taken on May 9, 2020 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and cropped to post here, the photo shows some layered mesas surrounded by a terraced and scalloped terrain with dust filling the low spots.

This is likely to be a very dry place on Mars. At only 2 degrees north of the equator, the evidence so far suggests that if there is a buried ice table (like the water table on Earth), it will be much deeper than at higher latitudes. The terrain reflects this, looking reminiscent of Monument Valley in the American southwest. In fact, the satellite image below, which I grabbed from MapQuest, shows a typical mesa in Monument Valley.

Monument Valley on Earth

Shown at about the same scale as the martian photo above, the similarities are striking. Both have layers, tall mesas, and dry terrain. The differences are also important. The Earth mesas show evidence of water erosion by their softened edges as well as the dry streambeds along the big mesa’s edges. On Earth there are trees in those dry streambeds. Earth also has dust, but no scalloped terrain, at least none visible at this scale.

Ironically, the cause of the erosion that created these mesas in both places is possibly quite similar, wind in recent eons but possibly water/ice far in the past, when the entire planet’s climate was different. For Mars this remains a guess.

Overview of Arabia Terra

The overview map to the right gives the larger context. The white cross is the location of these mesas. Arabia Terra is the large green region east of Chryse Planitia and Valles Marineris.

My guess that this location is dry comes not only because it is at the equator. It is also quite far from the northern lowlands and is very close to the cratered highlands. If an intermittent ocean in the northern lowlands once lapped against Arabia Terra, its shoreline ebbing and flowing as the Martian climate changed, that shoreline would have been far to the north and west of this location. Water and ice might have once been here, but that was likely a very very long time ago.

Readers!
 

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Your support is even more essential to me because I keep this site free from advertisements and do not participate in corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.


You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:
 


 

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

6 comments

  • Chris

    Hi Bob,

    Are there any estimates on the heights of these features on Mars?
    Do you know the height of the feature shown on Earth’s Monument Valley?

    Thanks

  • Chris: I am presently trying to get the software set up so that I can check heights, as you ask. Not there yet.

    As for Monument Valley, the buttes range from 400 to 1000 feet in height. See here. I suspect the buttes at this location on Mars are comparable.

  • Chris

    Thanks Bob

  • MDN

    If you zoom in real tight on the channel between the bottom and middle mesa I think we could see Martian Gump lamenting that he’s tired now : )

  • Ken Franks

    I’d hike that!

  • Doug in COS

    Thank you Bob for your insights and analysis, I really enjoy reading and pondering the implications of everything in the universe beyond our amazing planet. I’ve had your site bookmarked for awhile (hat tip AoS) and have shared it with a few like minded friends. Those Martian dust devils…just wow. Regards
    Doug

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *