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From the Golan Heights to Mars? Earth Insights into the Surface of the Red Planet

Israeli scientists are studying the northern part of Israel, hoping to learn more about Mars. Geologists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel are researching the formation of crater-like depressions on the Golan Heights to glean insights into similar formations on Mars.

Throughout the solar system, on rocky planets and moons, there are indentations and craters. Some of the depressions are impact craters, formed when space “debris”—meteors, chunks of older stars or planets, old satellites (just kidding)—collided with the surface of the sphere.

There are other types of depressions, though, that scientists are still trying to figure out how they were formed. These formations are also found on our planet—and in Israel, they are in an 18-square-mile area of the Golan Heights that has several “jubas.” Juba is the Arabic word for “pit.”

The “pits” are on the outskirts of an inactive volcanic area in Israel—and on Mars. The researchers mapped the jubas using specialized laser equipment, which uses short laser pulses to measure distance.

From their studies, the scientists believe that the indentations in the earth’s surface result from the ground below collapsing rather than something from above hitting the surface. These pits could result from magma flowing out of chambers below or the tectonic plates shifting in the volcanic process.

Israeli geologists Roy Naor and Itay Halevy had their findings published recently in the Geological Society of America Bulletin.

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Shalom from Israel! I am Ron Cantor and this is my blog. I serve as the President of Shelanu TV.

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