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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

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The ubiquitous presence of ice in the Martian mid-latitudes

Ice in the Martian mid-latitudes
Click for original image.

Cool image time! The picture to the right, rotated, cropped, rotated, and sharpened to post here, was taken on November 28, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Labeled merely as a “crater with mesa”, it gives us another example of the presence of glacial ice in the mid-latitudes of Mars.

That mesa is what planetary scientists have labeled “concentric crater fill,” a glacial feature found in numerous craters throughout the mid-latitude bands from 30 to 60 degrees latitude. The ground in the terrain surrounding the crater could be also be impregnated with ice, but based on the location as shown in the overview map below, it is just as likely to be lava.

In fact, the location of this particular crater illustrates why concentric crater fill might become the best source of ice for future colonists.


The white dot east of the giant shield volcano Alba Mons on the overview map to the right marks this crater’s location. It sits at 38 degrees north latitude, in a volcanic region where the ground is mostly lava and most glacial features are found confined within craters like this one.

The global map below, from this 2019 paper, also shows us the value that glacial-filled craters will have for future Martians. Green and yellow indicate what scientists call lineated valley fill (LVF) and lobate debris aprons (LDA) respectively, glacial deposits that are in many ways most similar to glaciers found on Earth, flows heading downhill along natural geographic features. Magenta represents concentric crater fill (CCF), glacier features in craters and which are very evenly distributed across both the northern and southern lower mid-latitude belts.

As you can see, even in mid-latitude regions where there are relatively few glacial features, settlers will still be able to find relatively nearby craters with glaciers within them, like the one above. I can even imagine some settlers setting up a homestead at particular craters, making their living mining and selling the ice to others.

The glaciers on Mars

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.

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.


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