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.

Partly engulfed Martian craters

An engulfed crater on Mars
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, was taken by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) on October 31, 2020. It shows a crater that appears buried in a sea of material so that pretty much the only thing visible is top of its rim.

The full image shows a second larger crater to the northwest that looks the same. In both cases the material fills the craters also fills the surrounding terrain.

Yet, both craters appear to be surrounded by a faint skirt of uplifted material.

What caused this situation?

Overview map

The overview map to the right gives a clue. The crater, the black rectangle, is on the outermost slopes of the giant shield volcano Alba Mons. Rather than grow upward significantly, this volcano, which is relatively low for its width, spread outward over a vast region. Even though the above crater is about 600 miles from the volcano’s caldera, it is still within its vast shield.

Also, if you look closely at this crater as well as the larger one in the full image, you will see that both have breaks in their rims in the southeast and northwest quadrants, exactly in line with the direction of flow down from the volcano.

So is the material that surrounds and fills this crater lava from Alba Mons? Probably, but with a major caveat. The crater is located at 46 degrees north latitude, well within the mid-latitude bands where scientists have found lots of evidence of glacial features. Furthermore, the Starship candidate landing zone in Arcadia Planitia is only slightly off the west edge of this overview map, about 900 miles away, where scientists have found evidence of water ice very close to the surface almost everywhere they look.

Thus, we might also be looking at buried ice features here, likely sitting on top of the lava flows that are much older.

As for the skirts surrounding each crater, I suspect we are seeing a reflection of the underground ejecta blanket from the impacts, which likely hit ground with a lot of water ice, and thus produced a splattered look like the crater posted here. Later, lava covered everything, leaving only a hint of that splat.

Then again, none of my hypotheses above might be right. It is also possible that the craters could have been volcanic vents, and the lava came from within them. That would explain the skirts. I think this less likely, but what do I know?


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One comment

  • janyuary

    “I think this less likely, but what do I know?”
    Well, I know one thing: when I see UFO enthusiasts showing photographic “proof” of other-planetary structures that look a lot like man-(or alien)-made, I’ll know what the bigger context probably looks like and why it’s omitted! {^)

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