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.

Scientists confirm distance to farthest known solar system object

Scientists have now confirmed that the large asteroid dubbed Farfarout (about 250 miles across) is presently about 132 astronomical units from the Sun (about 12 billion miles), making it the farthest known solar system object.

Its orbit however is far from circular, and it isn’t presently even at its farthest point in that orbit.

[T]he orbit of Farfarout is quite elongated, taking it 175 au from the Sun at its farthest point and around 27 au at its closest, which is inside the orbit of Neptune. Because its orbit crosses Neptune’s, Farfarout could provide insights into the history of the outer Solar System. “Farfarout was likely thrown into the outer Solar System by getting too close to Neptune in the distant past,” said Trujillo. “Farfarout will likely interact with Neptune again in the future since their orbits still intersect.”

The astronomers expect to discover more such objects in the coming years that will even eclipse this one in distance.


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


  • Chris

    Is the Kuiper belt considered “in” the solar system? – I think so
    Is the Oort Cloud considered “in” the solar system? – not?

  • Chris: The Kuiper Belt is in the solar system, and is defined as the belt of objects just beyond Neptune’s orbit. Farfarout is way beyond that, though not as far as the Oort Cloud.

    The Oort Cloud is considered the outermost belt of objects that is part of the solar system. Its existence has never been proven, however, and is hypothesized solely by extrapolating outward the orbits of comets.

  • wayne

    Who is responsible for that stupid name? (“Farfarout”)

  • Jeff Wright

    There is an object called “Gna” that was discovered a while back that might give this a run for its money. Something I’ve been meaning to ask: In the Starflight Handbook, a star called DM 61 366 is said to come near us in a million years or so. Is this Gliese 710? Or could it be another? Also, the Centaur called Chiron might wind up moving to the inner solar system-you could write about that.

  • Wayne: The astronomers had earlier found an asteroid that was far out there, and named it Farout. Then they found this even farther out. Hence the name.

    I like it. It has a sense of humor, and it describes the asteroid’s present situation nicely.

  • wayne

    When to we get “FarFarFarOut?”

  • eddie willers

    Who is responsible for that stupid name? (“Farfarout”)

    James Cameron, because only a ship running on unobtainium can get there.

  • Spectrum Shift

    When I was much younger, I use to say “Far out man”. Now some has discovered “it”

  • Spectrum Shift

    When I was much younger, I use to say “Far out man”. Now someone has discovered “it”

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 *