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Aug 18, 2005
Clean Craters All in a Row

Conventional explanations for rows of craters without rubble in them can avoid contradicting themselves only if obvious questions are not asked. Recognition of the electrical effects of plasma, however, leads to self-consistent explanations that have a high degree of generality.

The First Law of Modern Astronomy is: Thou shalt not ask questions that cast doubt on accepted theory. In the case of this image of craters on Mars, the accepted theory is the impact origin of craters. The image is interpreted in light of the theory, no questions asked, in the accompanying caption: “[T]hree aligned meteor impact craters on the floor of a much larger crater in the Noachis Terra region. The craters may have formed together from a single event in which the impactor (the meteor) was broken into three pieces.”

A single event is required because there is no rubble on the floors of the craters from the adjacent impacts. The blast forces would have had to act simultaneously to displace laterally the ejecta situated between the impacts. But the only imaginable way to get three craters in a single event is to have the impactor break into three pieces. And then the problem returns to the first observation of three aligned craters: It is unlikely that a meteor breaking up under the forces of heat and shock in the atmosphere will produce pieces that travel abreast to the surface. The theory has bitten itself on the ankle and is hobbling around in a circle.

Coincidences do happen. But if this explanation of simultaneity is to have any generality beyond this one case, coincidence is stretched to credulity in the many cases of chains of craters numbering far beyond three.

The Electric Universe asks if these aligned craters might be better explained as electrical discharge scars. An electric arc impinging on a surface will “machine” out a circular hole, much like a router bit. The bottom will be fairly flat; the sides will be steep; the removed material will be lifted away, leaving a clean excavation. Especially with a moving electrode, the discharge channel will tend to “jump” along the line of motion, leaving a linear series of craters. Because the debris is lifted from the surface, subsequent craters will not throw debris into previous ones.

The arc will pull charges from the surrounding ground, forming smaller channels that travel horizontally over or under the surface. These will leave gullies, or “rilles”, directed more or less radially toward the crater. As these secondary currents reach the main arc, they will rise to join it, leaving a triangular area beneath them where the excavation forces are reduced. This will produce the characteristic “pinched up” rims, steep on both inside and outside, with more or less evenly spaced gullies traveling up them. After the arc quenches, of course, gravity will cause any loose material that exceeds the “angle of repose” to slide down.

In view of the facts that 99% of the universe is composed of plasma, that Mars is immersed in plasma, and that spacecraft have detected electric currents in every plasma they have penetrated, astronomers need to begin doubting the obsolete theories that were conceived before the electrical properties of plasma were discovered.


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

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