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The icy Reull Valley of Mars

Eroded ice in crater near Reull Valles
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken on February 20, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows the eroded floor of a 10-mile-wide very obscured unnamed crater that sits above the northern wall of a canyon dubbed Reull Valles.

For reference the interior slope of the crater’s southern rim is labelled. The crater sits at 40 degrees south latitude. Thus, this crater is inside the 30 to 60 degree mid-latitude bands where scientists have found many glaciers on Mars. The eroded floor of this crater appears to confirm this conclusion. In the full photo the erosion is even more pronounced, as well as more chaotic, farther from that rim to the north.

Because Reull Valles sits inside that southern glacial band, it is home to much evidence of ice. The overview map below provides the context.

Overview map

The blue rectangular just to the north of Reull Valles near the right marks this photo’s location. Reull flows into Hellas Basin, the basement of Mars. Photos both inside and outside of this canyon almost always show evidence of glacial features, including areas where the canyon floor appears completely covered by a glacier flowing down into Hellas.

Above the canyon ice is evident either in craters (like this picture) or on the slopes of mountains. Though believed to be inactive, that belief is not fully confirmed, and in fact will be one of the first major science questions Martian scientists will attempt to answer, when they have the ability to take core samples throughout the planet, from the poles to the equator.

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.

One comment

  • Prudence R.

    Mars has always been a mysterious planet. The current climate of Mars is not habitable and not at all similar to Earth’s. But this might be a fact that the red planet was possibly more similar to our blue planet at the time life bloomed on Earth (3 Gy ago). Another reason to believe it is the satellite evidence of water in Mar’s own Grand Canyon.
    Know more about the discovery

    According to a research of, InSight Mars Lander has recorded the largest Marsquakes till date in the Valles Marineris with a magnitude of 4.2 in August 2021, preceding 4.1 in September 2021 and 3.7 in 2019. Knowing the planet’s tremor history with consistently increasing magnitude, I wonder if it’s planning to pop out life from the cracks.

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