Static Electric Discharges to a Dust Covered CRT Provide Insight into Crater Formation and other Features on Planetary Bodies
|Title||Static Electric Discharges to a Dust Covered CRT Provide Insight into Crater Formation and other Features on Planetary Bodies|
|Author(s)||Z Dahlen Parker|
|Keywords||Electrostatic Discharges, dust Covered CRT, Craters, Spiders features, crater chains|
Static Discharge patterns, seen in a thin layer of dust on a CRT, have a striking resemblance to many features seen on moons and asteroids. What might this low tech experiment reveal about how some planetary surface features are formed? Many features on moons and asteroids are hard to explain through the mechanism of an impact. The anomalies are numerous but the most obvious challenge is chained craters which appear to overlap each other or lay in very close linear proximity. Crater chains, seen on solid bodies in this region of space, are comprised of a series of semi-circular patterns, similar to a weld bead yet spaced in a manner that results in the semi-circles being formed with approximately 60% or more of the circle's perimeter still visible. In a crater chain there is always a completely circular crater at one end. The symmetry of all the exposed perimeters is generally well preserved. Impact explanations face several problems. A chain of craters, formed by impacts, would require a chain of objects to strike the surface in quick succession and in a straight line, something that did not occur in the case of Shoemaker-Levy 9, the usual example given as a possible cause. Also, the subsequent impacts would destroy the clarity of previously formed crater rims, observed crater chains involve virtually no such disturbance. Considering the consistent appearance of crater chains, there are too many details that are not answerable through the impact theory for it to be valid for these features. Experiments with static discharge, to a dust covered CRT, offers another tool to help understand the formation of crater chains, in particular, and potentially other crater features as well.