Doublet Craters

(under construction)
compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last updated 10 July 2012

Doublet craters--slightly separated pairs of craters formed near-simultaneously--in many cases likely represent the result of impacts by binary asteroids. Survey-based estimates for craters over 10-20 km in diameter indicate that doublet craters comprise about 2% of craters on Mars, 10-15% on the Earth, and 2-14% on Venus. Binary asteroids are an obvious suspect as a source for doublet craters, given the signficant fraction of near-Earth objects estimated to be binary. They are not the only suspect, however. Some such craters represent breakup of "rubble-pile" asteroid just prior to impact, either from tidal forces or from impact with the atmosphere (in the cases of Venus and the Earth). The grazing impact of a single object which "skips" on impact is the preferred explanation in a few cases, such as craters Messier A and B on the Moon.

For particular bodies:

The following table lists 56 identified doublet craters: 43 pairs on Venus, 4 on the Earth, 1 on the Moon, 6 on Mars, 1 on asteroid (4) Vesta, and 1 on Saturn's moon Tethys. Notes column includes crater names, where applicable. Sources are listed below.

bodycrater #1crater #2crater diameters (km)separation (km)impactor sizes (km)year
lat (deg)lon (deg)lat (deg)lon (deg)#1#2#1#2
Venus46.75123.2046.55123.0014.07.325.6  2003C03a 
Venus-19.5040.55-19.5540.4030.014.015.8  2003C03a 
Venus-39.05260.25-39.15260.704.044.038.4  2003C03a 
Venus4.95169.754.95170.9014.010.0121.0  2003C03a 
Venus41.4066.0041.1066.952.012.581.8  2003C03a 
Venus18.40101.8517.90102.6012.519.091.9  2003C03a 
Venus1.70283.851.15284.3010.022.575.0  2003C03a 
Venus0.55143.150.00142.6020.06.082.1  2003C03a 
Venus-22.00342.70-22.50343.4016.65.986.4  2003C03a 
Venus-27.15114.85-27.25114.2010.04.562.0  2003C03a 
Venus-32.70163.15-33.00162.9518.510.036.3  2003C03a 
Venus-73.90195.30-74.70195.  2003C03a 
Venus81.00222.5080.95228.6028.54.5101.2  2003C03a 
Venus80.95228.6080.00229.004.57.5100.6  2003C03a 
Venus72.2099.6071.10100.004.010.0116.9  2003C03a 
Venus41.1066.9540.6065.3012.52.0142.0  2003C03a 
Venus35.21287.3034.55288.605.016.0132.4  2003C03a 
Venus28.20106.8027.80108.1015.58.0128.4  2003C03a 
Venus26.70336.5025.60336.0038.013.5125.5  2003C03a 
Venus23.7594.5522.6094.1021.52.8129.1  2003C03a 
Venus17.55314.4516.70313.404.56.5138.9  2003C03a 
Venus-5.1031.35-6.4030.8016.013.0149.0  2003C03a 
Venus-12.40307.40-12.42308.8510.515.0149.6  2003C03a 
Venus-13.00272.55-13.40271.2025.020.0145.1  2003C03a 
Venus-26.10168.95-26.50167.8010.03.0116.8  2003C03a 
Venus-30.30248.30-30.30249.4021.010.0100.3  2003C03a 
Venus-57.85250.50-58.70252.0018.022.0122.5  2003C03a 
Venus-63.5056.50-63.7559.5014.027.0143.2  2003C03a 
Venus-64.20232.20-65.10234.1012.010.0128.1  2003C03a 
Venus-65.10234.10-66.50234.2010.08.0147.9  2003C03a 
Venus-67.00241.80-68.25243.509.511.5148.6  2003C03a 
Venus40.0051.90  40.0 22.1  2003C03a 
Venus-3.45265.00  18.0 15.9  2003C03a 
Venus76.80192.65  16.0 8.8  2003C03a 
Venus59.15215.40  10.2 10.1  2003C03a 
Venus45.70253.25  13.0 94.4  2003C03a 
Venus37.70305.50  20.0 18.5  2003C03a 
Venus30.85172.90  12.5 6.2  2003C03a 
Venus23.60350.10  14.0 12.4  2003C03a 
Venus-6.75334.10  12.0 6.2  2003C03a 
Venus-12.42308.85  15.0 7.1  2003C03a 
Venus-15.3084.90  10.5 5.3  2003C03a 
Venus-32.70163.15  18.5 32.0  2003C03a 
Earth56.22-74.5056.08-74.1236., M12a, E12aWest Clearwater Lake/East Clearwater Lake
Earth48.8810.6248.6810.0724.03.846.02.30.21991M91a, M12a, E12aRies/Steinheim
Earth48.3540.5048.4340.5325., M12a, E12aKamensk/Gusev
Earth-34.62139.07-34.72139.0310.08.511.7  2012M12aFlaxman/Crawford
Moon-2.0048.00  13.013.0   1989T89aMessier A/Messier B
Mars71.2010.3071.1010.3010.08.05.0  1996M96a 
Mars70.5018.7070.4018.605.210.08.0  1996M96a 
Mars69.90120.8069.80120.9010.06.05.0  1996M96a 
Mars32.00107.00       2007M07a 
Mars26.20134.10       2011M10a 
Mars-16.70265.40       2011M11a 
Vesta-75.00108.00       2012D12a 
Tethys         2007C07a 


© 2002, 2012 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 10 July 2012.
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