Buzz Aldrin & The Phobos Monolith

Zeke Newbold

Carbon based biped.
Joined
Apr 18, 2015
Messages
1,091
220px-Monolith55103h-crop.jpg


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobos_monolith

maximus otter
Thanks, but I meant specifically the bit about Buzz Aldrin saying that we should go there to check it out and it being the `key to what we seek`. I did a cursory search on the issue and only found mention of the fact that he was the one to draw people's attention to it and name it a `monolith`.

Anyway, it's all good stuff - the sort of thing that keeps me wanting to breathe.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
27,774
Location
Out of Bounds
Thanks for posing Phobos monolith pictures, and this object is different from the landscape as you can see.
Phobos is in a decaying orbit around Mars and only 3,700 miles from Mars’ surface.
During President Eisenhower term, his science adviser, Fred Singer, warned Eisenhower that Phobos was an alien base and satellite.
So, is Phobos artificial?

No, Phobos is not believed to be artificial. Here's the actual story about how that idea was first proposed and why it was subsequently rejected ...

Russian astronomer / astrophysicist Iosif Shklovsky analyzed the peculiar orbital characteristics of Phobos in 1959. His analysis was based on visual (i.e., telescopic) observations and a number of presumptions about both the accuracy of measurements derived from those observations and the Martian atmosphere.

He concluded that its orbit was decaying, and noted that if this decay was attributed to friction with the Martian atmosphere, then the satellite must have an exceptionally low density. In this context he voiced a suggestion that Phobos might be hollow, and possibly of artificial origin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iosif_Shklovsky

Singer was an atmospheric physicist and university professor who'd been specially commended by President Eisenhower for his work on the early rocket programs of the 1950s. In 1960 Singer commented on Shklovsky's work ...

In a 1960 Astronautics newsletter, Singer commented on Iosif Shklovsky's hypothesis that the orbit of the Martian moon Phobos suggests that it is hollow, which implies it is of artificial origin. Singer wrote:
"My conclusion there is, and here I back Shklovsky, that if the satellite is indeed spiraling inward as deduced from astronomical observation, then there is little alternative to the hypothesis that it is hollow and therefore martian made. The big 'if' lies in the astronomical observations; they may well be in error. Since they are based on several independent sets of measurements taken decades apart by different observers with different instruments, systematic errors may have influenced them."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Singer
(Emphasis added)

Long story short ... Singer's cautionary comments were soon borne out ... Within a few years it was determined that Shklovsky's data and measurements were indeed inaccurate and his presumptions about Phobos' orbital decay and mass were accordingly erroneous. By the early Seventies the first Mars probes had sent back photographic images clearly indicating Phobos was a natural object, albeit a probably porous one analogous to certain asteroidal bodies. That was the end of the 'hollow Phobos' hypothesis and hence the 'artificial Phobos' hypothesis.
 
Last edited:

charliebrown

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
2,502
Location
Earth
Well Zeke Newbold,

This is also the stuff that keeps me going too.

According to Star Trek’s Spock, after ruling out the possibilities, then one must assume the impossible is correct.

So what is this monolith in the picture?

It does not match the surrounding area.
 

Xanatic*

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
4,956
No, Spock talked about ruling out the impossible. It was a Sherlock Holmes quote.
It's quite possible that it's caused by a geological process we don't know yet. Very different environment after all.
 

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
10,429
Well Zeke Newbold,

This is also the stuff that keeps me going too.

According to Star Trek’s Spock, after ruling out the possibilities, then one must assume the impossible is correct.

So what is this monolith in the picture?

It does not match the surrounding area.

Do you mean:

“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”

Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four

maximus otter
 

charliebrown

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
2,502
Location
Earth
Ufologist have suggest because Phobos’ orbit is only 2 thousand miles above Mars, that it is an artificial satellite.
 

eburacum

Papo-furado
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
4,500
Asteroids as small as Phobos have very low gravity, and are quite likely to support large boulders in apparently precarious positions. Because these objects have very low gravity there is not enough force to pull objects into a horizontal position.

Here's asteroid Bennu, which is covered in irregular rocks each tens of metres high.
asteroid-bennu-Dec2-2018-OSIRIS-REx-e1635250626903.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Paul_Exeter

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jan 9, 2012
Messages
1,066
Asteroids as small as Phobos have very low gravity, and are quite likely to support large boulders in apparently precarious positions. Because these objects have very low gravity there is not enough force to pull objects into a horizontal position.

Here's asteroid Bennu, which is covered in irregular rocks each tens of metres high.
asteroid-bennu-Dec2-2018-OSIRIS-REx-e1635250626903.jpg
Phobos is larger than Bennu by quite some margin: 22.5km v 500 metres
 

charliebrown

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
2,502
Location
Earth
Buzz Aldrin says we need to go to Mars’ moon Phobos, because photos shows an important monolith on the surface of Phobos.

This monolith needs to be studied.
 

eburacum

Papo-furado
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
4,500
Need I point out that the term monolith does not imply that it has been created artificially. The definition of the word is 'a single, upright block of stone' ('mono' and 'lith') and can apply to any large stone block.

Earlier in this thread we discussed the probability that this monolith was thrown out by the impact that created the large crater Stickney at one end of Phobos; the fact that this large crater has not exposed any artificial infrastructure seems to rule out the possibility that Phobos is artificial, as well.
 

James_H

And I like to roam the land
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
7,457
I'm sure you are correct (sadly). And why does Buzz claim its a monolith...? Because of a science fiction movie
The word 'monolith' just means a freestanding stone (usually a big one). Here's a picture of a monolith in Chile that wasn't built by humans or aliens, but rather by 'god or nature or whatever'.

1652516927549.png


Here's one in China that is known locally as the 'Male Stone' for reasons that completely escape me.

1652517303503.png


Of course the conditions (usually erosion of sedimentary rocks) that produce such structures on Earth don't exist on Phobos, but other things can happen that would be impossible on Earth. As Ebaracum states, it's probably a long rock that is able to balance on end without falling over due to the low gravity of the body.
 

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
10,429

Attachments

  • twyfelfontein_organ_pipes.jpg
    twyfelfontein_organ_pipes.jpg
    366.4 KB · Views: 0
  • man_pupu_nyor.jpg
    man_pupu_nyor.jpg
    84.9 KB · Views: 0
  • giants_causeway.jpg
    giants_causeway.jpg
    135.5 KB · Views: 0

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
47,569
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
All those earthly pictures of monoliths show one thing - that they have been created by water and wind erosion.
The monolith on Phobos - how was that created? No wind or water there.
The only thing I can imagine is that it is the core of a small asteroid or very large meteorite that struck Phobos and became embedded in the surface. However, looking at the surrounding area, there seems to be no obvious evidence of an impact.
 

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
10,429
All those earthly pictures of monoliths show one thing - that they have been created by water and wind erosion.

Not the Giant's Causeway:

"...highly fluid molten basalt intruded through chalk beds to form an extensive volcanic plateau. As the lava cooled, contraction occurred. Horizontal contraction fractured in a similar way to drying mud, with the cracks propagating down as the mass cooled, leaving pillarlike structures, which also fractured horizontally into "biscuits". In many cases, the horizontal fracture resulted in a bottom face that is convex, while the upper face of the lower segment is concave, producing what are called "ball and socket" joints. The size of the columns was primarily determined by the speed at which lava cooled. The extensive fracture network produced the distinctive columns seen today."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant's_Causeway#Geology

maximus otter
 

eburacum

Papo-furado
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
4,500
This is the impact; Stickney crater, right at the South Pole of this object.

640px-Stickney_mro.jpg


You can see numerous tracks radiating from the crater, which appear to have been caused by rolling debris;
debris like the monolith.
 

Attachments

  • 640px-Stickney_mro.jpg
    640px-Stickney_mro.jpg
    76.2 KB · Views: 0
Last edited by a moderator:

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
47,569
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
Not the Giant's Causeway:

"...highly fluid molten basalt intruded through chalk beds to form an extensive volcanic plateau. As the lava cooled, contraction occurred. Horizontal contraction fractured in a similar way to drying mud, with the cracks propagating down as the mass cooled, leaving pillarlike structures, which also fractured horizontally into "biscuits". In many cases, the horizontal fracture resulted in a bottom face that is convex, while the upper face of the lower segment is concave, producing what are called "ball and socket" joints. The size of the columns was primarily determined by the speed at which lava cooled. The extensive fracture network produced the distinctive columns seen today."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant's_Causeway#Geology

maximus otter
Yes, that's true. That fact was not lost on me when I made my previous comment. Those basaltic extrusions force their way up through some other softer medium. Later on, wind and water erosion exposes the basaltic structure.
 
Top