crater chain


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crater chain

(chain craters) Any linear association of craters. Some lunar crater chains are incipient sinuous rilles, i.e. lava tubes (in maria) that have suffered only partial collapse. Others are not confined to the maria and consist of overlapping secondary craters. Chains of volcanic craters (as in fissure eruptions) have not been unequivocally recognized but see wrinkle ridges.

crater chain

[′krād·ər ‚chān]
(astronomy)
A series of lunar craters located along a straight line.
References in periodicals archive ?
The crater chain which runs beyond the southern tip of Muller in a relatively straight line towards Ptolemaeus appears to be continuous along the crest of the southern wall of Muller.
However, observing the crater Muller on 2008 October 8 with my 100mm Borg Achromat I did gain the impression of a darker streak running along and down the crater wall and aligned with the distinct crater chain beyond.
In the past, most researchers have discounted reports of craters that line up (see "The crater chain that wasn't").
Last year, Bottke and his colleagues proposed that a crater chain might develop when an object passes so close to Earth it almost scrapes the surface.
The midcontinent features would have constituted the first known crater chain on Earth, but many geologists dismissed the claim.
In 1994, planetary scientists received a vivid lesson on how crater chains can form on a larger planet.
Making Crater Chains on the Earth and Moon with Planetary Tidal Forces,' LPSC XXVIII, abstract 1062
Supporting evidence comes from a study of tightly packed crater chains on two of Jupiter's icy moons, Ganymede and Callisto.
Schenk and Melosh propose that comets breaking apart in Jupiter's vicinity and smashing into the moons most likely created these crater chains.
A separate analysis of two crater chains on Earth's moon also supports the idea that when comets split up, they break into fragments of nearly equal size.
Astronomers speculate that such tell-tale crater chains may also lie beneath the methane-clouded surface of Saturn's moon Titan and on the icy terrain of Triton, a frozen moon of Neptune.
They say a string of cometary fragments sequentially striking the moon best explain these crater chains, as well as three others identified on the Jovian moon Ganymede.