Charles, did you read Juergens' article "Of the Moon and Mars"? Looks like Nick referenced it too.CharlesChandler wrote: And why are rows of craters more common than chance? Because some impacters break up just before impact.
About halfway down the page at http://saturniancosmology.org/juergensa.htm Juergens showed a picture of a 40 foot long "Earth rille" known to have been carved by lightning on a baseball diamond in Florida during a game. A little below that picture he showed this table of lunar rille features, which strongly suggests to me that lightning likely carved the rilles on the Moon.
Craters in RillesTABLE 1: Competence of Various Sinuous Rille Theories
Rille Char. Proposed Rille Origin Theory
erosion ---- erosion --- formed by --- formed by --- electric
via water --- gas cloud --- gas blow --- lava tube --- eruption
wider at high end C C O B A
channel sinuous A C O C A
upper end crater B B O B A
ends at diff. elev. A A O A A
no out wash dep. C-X C-X B C-X A
no chan. bridges A A O B-C A
chan. cratering O O A O A
trav. high ground X X B X B
stray fr. surf. dip C-X C-X B C-X B
on ridge crest X X A B A
strata exposure B B A C-X A-B
strata upturned X X A X A
rille clustering C C B-C B-C A-B
rille crossing C-X C-X A-O C-X B
2nd rille in bottom B C C C B
A. Predictable on basis of theory;
B. Permissible in terms of theory;
C. Permissible, but difficult to explain;
O. Apparently irrelevant in terms of theory;
X. evidence precludes theory.
That's apparently what happened to the SL9 comet that impacted Jupiter in 1994 after the 21 or so comet pieces traveled in single file for two years after having come close to Jupiter previously. How near the ground could an impacter break up into a column of pieces that then make a crater chain? Any idea? Do you contend that impacters would produce thermonuclear explosions at points of impact, which would leave craters with clean floors free of debris?CC: I couldn't figure out why there are two distinct morphologies there -- the rift is a continuous crack, and then there are these round craters. If the whole thing was EM, I'd expect the "craters" to be dwell points, and the rifts to be skip stretches, and the EDM should be more or less continuous. So the craters would be just a matter of degree, not a difference in kind, compared to the rifts.  I don't see what forces would operate from the inside. Rather, I think that the force that breaks up the impacter is electrostatic. This would pull all of the charge over to the side facing the Moon. A force in the direction of the Moon would break up the impacter into a vertical column of pieces, which would hit the surface in a line.
I think you stated last year or so that rilles seen around impact craters on Earth would have formed electrically as the impacter neared the impact point. Wouldn't larger rilles have formed similarly on the Moon from lightning from larger impacters, such as Aristarchus and many others? It looks to me like a large impacter would form one or more rilles electrically and pieces of the impacter seem to follow the electrical pathway and explode in the rille as it's forming. Or maybe the electrically eroding rille follows the impacter pieces.