The main crater seen is 50 miles (80km) wide
When the moon was full it got me thinking as to why it has so many craters - which can be seen quite easily.
The usual opinion is that they were created either by violent volcanic action or by a bombardment of meteors many millions of years ago. The same could apply to the surface of Mars (photo right - a Mars Express satellite image).
We could ask: if the moon was hit by those meteors why wasn't earth?
Earth, as I understand it, is protected by the atmosphere and most would have been burned up before hitting the earth's surface. This is fine, but some of the moon craters are so vast that any meteors of a similar size, which could have caused them, would almost certainly have been capable of also reaching the surface of the earth.
This got me thinking about a theory I heard or read about many years ago. I'm not sure but it may have been conjured up by Tom Lethbridge.
The theory is that there was a real 'War of the Worlds' and that many of the craters are caused by atomic or similar explosions. The then inhabitants of Mars and Venus perhaps fought over the mineral rights of the moon. One set of warriors may even have had a base or bases on the moon to defend.
At first this may seem pure fantasy until, that is, I read that Easter Islanders have a belief that many planets are inhabited - including the moon.
We now know that the moon is not peopled by aliens but perhaps the Islanders' beliefs have been built on very old knowledge. The Easter 'ancients' were aware, for example, that the sun was the centre of the solar system - long before Copernicus. They claimed that, 'All the planets worship the sun.'
They also believe that an invisible race of people live on earth, which is food for thought - a parallel existence perhaps? Or a source of some of the UFO sightings?
Many 'primitive' races had a knowledge of alien races. The West African Dogon people have knowledge of Sirius and say this was told to them by visitors to the earth from another star system.
with Sirius B the small dot lower left
The Dogon people described Sirius B before it's existence was known by western astronomers and that it revolves around Sirius A every 50 years. These facts weren't known generally until 1844.
Sometimes there are truths hidden away in old beliefs, traditions and stories. Who knows, perhaps the craters of the Moon and Mars are the remnants of a War of the Worlds.