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More glaciers in Mars’ glacier country

Overview map

glacial layering in Clasia Vallis
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, was taken on June 18, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows what appear to be layered glacial features on the floor of what at first glance appears to be a crater.

It is not a crater however. The depression in the lower right of this image is the rim and floor of a 77-mile-long meandering canyon on Mars dubbed Clasia Vallis. The red cross in the overview map above marks its location, at 34 degrees north latitude. This channel drains downward from the southern cratered highlands into the 2,000-mile-long mid-latitude strip of mensae terrain that I dub glacier country because almost every hi-res image from this region shows glacial features.

Below is a wider view of Clasia Vallis, taken by the context camera on MRO on March 19, 2014.

Context camera view of part of Clasia Vallis
Click for full image.

The white rectangle indicates the area viewed in the close-up above. If you look close you will see that the entire floor of this meandering channel appears to be glacial filled. The picture itself only covers a small part of Clasia Vallis. The full context camera image includes almost all of its upstream drainage, which slowly shrinks until it vanishes into the flat plateau above.

Other context camera images show the canyon grow and eventually drain into the chaos terrain of Nilosyrtis Mensae. In fact, all the canyons in this region, of which there are many, all seem filled with glacial debris on their floor, all flowing downhill to the mensae regions to the east.

The layers in the canyon once again invoke the many climate cycles that seem central to the geology of Mars. With each cycle, the glacier grows and then shrinks, with the overall trend laying down less ice each time.

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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