If the best place to hide a tree is in a forest, then where do you think would be the best place to hide a very large field of craters averaging about 100 meters diameter? And all about the same age? Believe it or not, it’s not hard to do at all. Especially if the people you want to hide your craters from are skeptical that catastrophic impact events happen at all.
Most geologists assume that a cluster impact event is ‘Highly Unlikely’. But you won’t hear that from an astronomer. In fact, the fragmented nature of objects like comets Linear, or SW –3, implies that most catastrophic impact events are probably the work of a large cluster of smaller fragments, instead of a single large bolide.
It turns out the best place to hide a large field of small craters is right out in plain site.
Sometimes it seems that geologists will entertain almost any conceivable theory to explain round holes, or depressions in the ground as long as the theory does not mention impacts.
So, if something like the cluster of fragments were see in the images of comet Linear were to have hit somewhere in North America in the geologically recent past, the resulting planetary scarring would’ve been completely overlooked, or mis-defined by generations of geologists. Geologists who, until we all saw SL-9 hit Jupiter, didn’t believe that such violence can possibly come from above. Or that cluster impact events happen.
If your target surface is limestone, they’ll assume without question that the resulting craters are all karst sinkholes. And they won’t even look twice. Especially if they don’t have access to aerial photography.
But when we look at them from high altitude, we can see that the number, and distribution, of them, all the same age, debunks the theory that they’re all merely sinkholes.
If you saw a large field of perfectly circular depressions like these anywhere else in the solar system, no one would hesitate to call them impact craters. It is only here that they are denied.
As I understand the standard model, objects in the solar system, including the Earth, are thought to be subjected to a steady flux of impacts. So, if they were to look at a crater field like the one you see above, on the moon they’d assume without question that it took millions of years for so many craters to form.
A very large cluster impact event hitting the ground like a giant shotgun blast of smaller fragments has always been inconceivable to standard thinking. But the simple empirical fact is that these craters do exist. They are all in the same excellent condition. And crater fields of similar proportions to the ones we see in Eastern New Mexico exist in a broad variety of terrains all the way to Odessa, and Midland, Texas. Check out The Meteorite Men and the Odessa Craters for images of some of the ones in west Texas.
There’s a few more images in a gallery here.
In the world according to me, the idea that you can estimate the age of a planetary, or lunar, surface by the counting the number of craters is absurd.