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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.


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Rock growths on Mars!

Rock growths on Mars!
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right was taken by the high resolution camera on the Mars rover Curiosity on May 15, 2022, and shows several incredibly strange vertical fingers of rock that appear to grow out of the ground. From the caption:

These likely formed as groundwater trickled through rock in the ancient past, depositing mineral cements over time; many years later, when the rock was exposed to the atmosphere, wind eroded the softer material around the cemented portions.

This formation explanation of course is only an educated guess. There are other possibilities, suggested by how cave formations grow over time, that are less likely but still must be considered. For example, maybe we are looking at a feature that grew upward as condensation from Mars’ once thicker and wetter atmosphere deposited new material on it over time.

Unfortunately, the image release does not provide a scale. My guess is that the longest finger is between six to twelve inches long, but it could be much smaller.

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.


  • V-Man

    And they must be fragile as heck — look at how thin the base is.

  • pzatchok

    Its ALIVE!!!

    Looks a little like ground stuck lightning also. But that is not possible in the last few million years.

  • Jeff

    Thanks for highlighting this, Bob.

    Grab your red/blue glasses:

    UMSF member “fredk” posted this anaglyph along with a cross-eyed version. I can’t do the cross-eyed easily, but I still have my “Mars 3-D” glasses used during Spirit and Opportunity. (Has it really been 18 years…?)

    From my perspective, the anaglyph shows the larger cobra-like finger to be much flatter and wider than first thought. I can see how these fingers were thicker layers of the parent rock that broke off, tilted down and then the resulting weathering left them sticking up. There are several more sheet like sections below and right of the fingers. Just my two cents.

  • That 3D shot of them, noted above, is pretty amazing.

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