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Credit: ASU THEMIS science team


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Nov 30, 2004
Craters on Mars

This photograph of the Martian surface (Granicus Vallis), is posted as a complement to our previous image, which showed a field of craters generated by electric arcing in a laboratory. (Picture of the Day, November 26, 2004)   Confirm for yourself that the features of the crater field in the two photographs are identical. In neither case should the pattern be confused with impact cratering. The regions of dense cratering in the Martian photograph are "burnt," exactly as in the laboratory simulation. Crater distribution is not random, though random distribution is expected under the impact model. And the dominance of similar-size craters violates the basic assumptions of standard theory.

The Martian photograph also displays other features predicted by electrical models. According to the electrical hypothesis, the surfaces of all rocky planets and moons have been sculpted by electrical etching. Effects include crater chains and other irregular crater concentrations, sinuous grooves, rilles, or channels where neither water nor lava flow is evident, scalloped cliffs (as seen on the far right of this image), and fretted terrain, often punctuated by heavy concentrations of similar-size craters, perhaps laid down on a landscape already eroded by electrical etching.



David Talbott, Wallace Thornhill
Amy Acheson
  CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Mel Acheson, Michael Armstrong, Dwardu Cardona,
Ev Cochrane,   Walter Radtke, C.J. Ransom, Don Scott, Rens van der Sluijs, Ian Tresman
  WEBMASTER: Michael Armstrong

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