Crater Chains again – and this time they’re fuzzy

Around many large craters, smaller secondary craters can be found caused by falling debris from the main crater forming process. Secondary craters can appear in clumps, sometimes in a herringbone pattern, or more unusually in a line – a crater chain. We haven’t found many crater chains in Moon Zoo. This is probably because they tend to be large features and best spotted using a wide view. Some chains have distinct separate craters while others look indistinct and decidedly fuzzy. Using the ACT-REACT Quick Tool forum regular kodemunkey found a great example of a fuzzy crater chain north of Mare Orientale.


The fuzzy “landslide” effect is due to fragments of debris from the originating impact landing one after the other very close together in a line. The impacts and ejecta have interfered with each other resulting in a string of wispy densely-spaced secondary craters.

A closer look at ACT-REACT shows that the terrain slopes upwards from left to right and that the chain is just over 1km long. The elevation graph shows the expected dips where the debris has impacted.

So where is the parent crater? Secondary craters fall radially to the original impact and up to hundreds of kilometres away. I think the most likely candidate is an unnamed fresh white crater 100 km away.


We have featured crater chains before as Image of the Week. They are fairly illusive but make striking images when you find one. And if you do find one, whether distinct or fuzzy, don’t forget to post it on the forum thread.

Previous Crater Chain Images of the Week:

Crater Chains 30 August 2010
Chains of craters 2 May 2011
Crater Chain Boulevard 6 June 2011
Crater Chains 11 July 2011

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About juleswilkinson

Citizen scientist and volunteer. Forum moderator for the Milky Way Project, Solar Stormwatch, Science Gossip and Shakespeare's World. Owner of 3 telescopes, a dog and a meteorite.

2 responses to “Crater Chains again – and this time they’re fuzzy”

  1. aqualuna (GP) says :

    Your explore the moon function really locks up or stalls allot and is very difficult to use. It’s also difficult to study when we have no idea of where the object is on the moon. When pressing a function button, the delay is 15 seconds or more. Do you have something a bit more user friendly? The details are very poor and the magnification button is non operational. I have a fast computer and this is really slow and tedious. It uses so much cpu for so little function.

    • juleswilkinson says :

      Yes, we are aware that some people have are having difficulties with parts of Moon Zoo. The improvements scheduled for later this summer will address these issues and add some new content. Meanwhile, thanks for the comments – and for your patience!

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