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.


The strange surface of Mars’ north pole icecap

Mars' north pole icecap
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, and annotated to post here, was taken on September 17, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows us a very small section of Mars’ north pole icecap.

What are we looking at? The picture was taken in summer, so by this point the thin mantle of dry ice that falls as snow in the winter and covers the north pole down to about 60 degrees latitude has sublimated away. This surface thus is water ice interspersed with Martian dust.

Yet, unlike the Antarctic icecap on Earth, the ice surface is not smooth and flat. Instead, this Martian ice has a surface that is a complex arrangement of hollows and ridges, all about the same size. Why?

And what are the two larger white spots? What caused them and why are they the only differently-sized objects in the picture?

The full resolution close-up, found at the image website, provides some answers to these questions.

Close-up of craters
Click for full image.

Overview map

Both white spots are small craters that are apparently filled with water ice. Though these craters are very likely relatively recent when compared with the ice cap below, they still could be quite old. As I noted in June 2019 article,

The polar cap … is 600 miles across and a little less than 7,000 feet deep. It is made up of many seasonal layers, like the icecaps on Earth, with the bulk a mixture of water ice and cemented dust and sand. The very top layers, dubbed the residual icecap, is about three to six feet thick made up of frozen water having a volume about half of Greenland’s icecap. While this water could sublimate away, data suggests it is, like the icecaps on Earth, in a steady state, neither gaining or losing volume with each Martian year.

The map to the right of the north pole icecap shows the location of this image by the yellow dot. As it is deep inside that cap, there is a lot of ice below it, going down many thousand feet.

When the impacts hit, each melted those icy top layers which then quickly refroze, leaving the interiors of both craters bright with ice. The surrounding curlicue terrain is probably the result of eons of ice sublimation followed by later ice deposition, causing the surface to roughen with time.

Readers!
 

I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.


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 not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. 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
 

Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.

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 *