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Posted On: 31 March 2008 03:45 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:08 pm

Craters found near Dukhan caused by meteors

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Craters found near Dukhan caused by meteors Google Earth image showing the crater discovered near Dukhan DOHA • The craters discovered recently near Dukhan, 90km west of Doha, are of unusual shape, according to Qatari astronomical observer and active member of Qatar Scientific Club Sheikh Salman bin Jabor Al Thani. Images of these craters, believed to have been formed following meteor impact nearly seven decades ago, were presented by Sheik Salman at Doha Scientific Club on Sunday. The craters discovered have an upward curve rather than a depression as in normal craters. The soft nature of the sand in the site can be accounted for this shape. Pillar like structures of sand have been found in the crater. The studies on the sand structures have found that they were formed very fast rather than over time. The high temperature during the impact, which might have led to the boiling of the water salt and sand, can explain the formation of these structures. "The area was marshy when the meteorite hit. There had been stories of camels being sucked into the earth from this place long back. Now due to industrialization, the water content of the area has decreased; most have dried up and become deserts," Sheikh Salman said. The studies have shown that there is a high density in salt content in the area even today. One of these craters is having a diameter of more than 100 meters. Four more craters were discovered in a straight line within a distance of 30km. Craters were found during a search propelled by stories from the aged about having witnessed meteor falls in 1940s. Also the discovery of a piece of meteorite in 1989 by a Qatar Petroleum employee gave impetus to the hunt. The exploration that began three years ago, using Google earth imaging, have found about five surface craters now. Samples of the rocks and sands from the site have been sent for radioactivity and chemical tests. Search for meteorite pieces are still going on and the club is to organize a volunteer camp for combing the whole desert. Speaking to the reporters, Sheik Salman said the meteorite which hit is estimated to be about 10kg. "Studies like this are being conducted to rediscover scientific history Qatar," he said. Much of the studies conducted till now give a new historical and geographical past to Qatar. Archaeological researches have found proofs that Qatar was inhabited since the stone ages. This could be a death blow to many who says that Qatar's history cannot be traced back beyond 4000 BC. Also the fact that many oceanic fossils and remains being found in the deserts towards the south of Qatar shows that these areas were under water once.