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 wind-swept volcanic ash plains of Mars

Overview map

Cool image time! In Mars’ volcano country lies the planet’s largest ash deposit, dubbed the Medusae Fossae Formation. Scientists believe that this gigantic deposit, with a size comparable to the nation of India, was laid down by muliple volcanic eruptions over several billion years and is the source of most of the dust seen on the Red Planet.

The overview map on the right shows the location of this ash deposit on Mars. The white cross indicates the location of today’s cool image, found below.

Wind swept plains of Mars
Click for full image.

Wider context camera image

The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, and enhanced to bring out the details, provides us a nice example of that ash deposit. Taken on May 10, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), it shows how the prevailing southeast-to-northwest winds, weak as they are in the extremely thin Martian atmosphere, have in several billion years carved that ash deposit into a magnificent linear carpet.

Notice how the linear grooves remain aligned from terrace to terrace. Notice also how there is little dust or grooves at the cliff edges. This is especially pronounced in the full image, which also includes several areas where the grooves are less distinct as well as some smaller places where ridges are aligned at right angles.

This location, shown in the wider MRO context camera image below, is at the edge of a meandering gully suggestive of some sort of flow, usually assumed caused by liquid water but also by maybe water ice. The white box marks the area covered by the photo above.

The small many grooves at this spot also suggest that the ash deposit is somewhat thin. Compare it for example with the much larger grooves found near the deposit’s northern edge, about six hundred miles away. The difference suggests that the ash has been piling up to the north over time.

Only one other high resolution image has been taken by MRO near this location. Several miles to the south west, it only shows these linear grooves in its northeast quadant, suggesting it covers the edge of the ash deposit and reinforcing the impression that the ash is is very thin in the cool image above.


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One comment

  • Greg the Geologist

    Notice also the eddies surrounding a central hill in the full-size image. Suggests very uniform wind direction over the entire area. Heck of a place to get lost in . . .

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