Author Topic: Monolith on Mars? You decide.  (Read 4092 times)

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Offline Kobuk

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Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« on: April 12, 2012, 04:18:00 pm »
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Amateur stargazers have discovered an intriguing object jutting out from the surface of Mars. The seemingly perfectly rectangular, upright structure, found in NASA images of the Red Planet, bears a striking resemblance to the monoliths planted on Earth and the moon by aliens in the classic sci-fi film "2001: A Space Odyssey."

The object in question was first spotted several years ago after being photographed by the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a NASA space probe; every so often, it garners renewed interest on the Internet. But is it unnatural a beacon erected by aliens for mysterious reasons, and even more mysteriously paralleled in the imaginations of Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, creators of "2001"? Or is this rock the work of nature? [Photo ]

According to Jonathon Hill, a research technician and mission planner at the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University, who processes many of the images taken during NASA's Mars missions, the object in question is no more than a roughly rectangular boulder.

The HiRISE camera that photographed it has a resolution of approximately 1 foot (30 centimeters) per pixel impressive considering the 180-mile (300-kilometer) altitude from which it photographs the Martian surface, but not quite sharp enough to capture the cragginess of a mid-size boulder. "When your resolution is too low to fully resolve an object, it tends to look rectangular because the pixels in the image are squares. Any curve will look like a series of straight lines if you reduce your resolution enough," Hill told Life's Little Mysteries.

The location of the boulder at the bottom of a cliff near many other boulders suggests it broke off the cliff and tumbled to its current spot sometime in the distant past, Hill said. Such a perilous location is itself an argument against deliberate placement by aliens: "If I was going to build a monolith somewhere, that's the last place I would put it!" he said. "The debris falling from the cliff would cover it up pretty quickly, on geologic timescales." [Vote: Do You Believe in Life on Mars?]

Hill added that the height of the boulder is being exaggerated in the photo by a low sun angle. Photographed when the sun was near the horizon, the boulder casts an especially long shadow.

The ufologists aren't necessarily wrong in calling it a monolith the word simply translates from Latin as "one stone." But this monolith isn't the masonry of Martians.

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Offline Shim

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 07:29:47 pm »
Conspiracy theorists also thought that Kubrick had something to do with a faked moon landing :P.

Then again, you never know :o

Offline WhiteStorm

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 08:51:31 pm »
It would be pretty funny if it turned out to be some piece of junk from a Mars mission, maybe one of the failed ones. Although it looks too intact for that, probably just a rock.
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Offline Avan

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 02:02:32 pm »
Actually, pieces of spacecraft have survived intact descending into earths thicker atmosphere with its higher gravity; while yes, it does reduce impact stress, you have to admit that the gravity is significantly greater, and the atmospheric friction tends to rip stuff to shreds.

Then again, it could also be a perfectly natural formation. IIRC, mars has a mountain or plateau that was vaguely face-shaped.
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Offline WhiteStorm

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2012, 10:20:42 pm »
Yeah, I'm guessing it's just the tip of a rock sticking up above the sand. I just want them to investigate it someday and realize "oh... we put it there" for amusement's sake.
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Offline Avan

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 12:08:55 am »
Oh, just read the OP, seems that its likely just a fragment of the cliff. For every rock that falls off a cliff, its not unlikely that there will be at least one that is rather rectangular-prism-ish
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Offline Sk Skunk

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 03:43:39 pm »
"Who am I to say where my possibly non-existent soul has or has not been."

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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 12:16:53 pm »
Looks like a manufactured monument, but unless someone
goes there to check it out we can only speculate.

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Offline Enchantingly

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 12:55:45 pm »
There are a lot of things we just don't know. If we research the unknown, we expand knowledge. I think that humans are probably migrants from Mars, which would mean we either developed advanced space travel or had a lot of help from outside sources. I also think we're turning Earth into another Mars and right now are looking for a new planet to settle.

But there's no way for me to prove any of that, without empirical evidence. Maybe one day we will find the evidence, but until then ideas like this are a mystery, and mysteries are far too easy to falsely explain.
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Offline Loc

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2012, 01:08:02 pm »
There is (as Avan mentioned) a formation that looks like a face when viewed from a certain angle. I'm betting it's just a natural rock or formation.

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Offline Enchantingly

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 02:40:12 pm »
For some reason we humans love giving faces to everything! lol
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Offline Avan

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2012, 07:00:30 pm »
Also I honestly can't imagine aliens having a human-like face. XP
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Offline Morphy

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2012, 11:17:55 pm »
Aren't those two rovers still going? Send one over to look at it. There, mystery solved.  ;)

Offline Cirocco the Silver Fox

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2012, 11:34:20 pm »
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For some reason we humans love giving faces to everything! lol
- Pareidolia actually - it is a psychological phenomenon that causes us to see random stimulus as significant for one reason or another - seeing faces or animals in objects is a very common characteristic of it.

Quote
Also I honestly can't imagine aliens having a human-like face. XP
- Well if we go by the Star Trek logic, they'll have pointed ears or be green, or maybe even green with pointed ears. :P Though I do agree that while some extraterrestrial beings might be similar to humans, I doubt they'll share our facial features, or even care to duplicate them in their terraforming.

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Aren't those two rovers still going? Send one over to look at it. There, mystery solved.
- That seems like a BRILLIANT solution; however far be it for a well paid scientist to come up with this idea themselves. Last thing they need is to solve this mystery to early, because in doing so interest in the project will fade, and with it so could their funding as well.
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Offline Avan

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2012, 01:28:22 pm »
Its a munolith! :D

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Offline Onion

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2012, 08:43:05 am »
Oh dang, that's where I left my monolith. Huo good thing they found it. XD

Its probably just a boulder or pepsi machine. XD

Strike that! We must send monkeys to Mars.  XD
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 08:51:21 am by Onion »

Offline Hashira

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2012, 11:37:38 pm »
I don't believe aliens exist, really, but I do know our amazing universe is fill of obscure, wonderful, strange things, and I think this rock is one of those strange things :P. To me it's just a cool lookin' rock :D
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2012, 12:20:43 pm »
The mind has a habit of creating familiar images where there isn't any. So without
a reasonable investigation it's just good for interesting speculation. :orbunny:
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 12:23:48 pm by Old Rabbit »
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Offline kuroneko jusan

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Re: Monolith on Mars? You decide.
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2012, 08:25:21 pm »

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Aren't those two rovers still going? Send one over to look at it. There, mystery solved.
- That seems like a BRILLIANT solution; however far be it for a well paid scientist to come up with this idea themselves. Last thing they need is to solve this mystery to early, because in doing so interest in the project will fade, and with it so could their funding as well.

Actually, one is stuck and has been for a while, but still sends back data.  The other got caught in an area where there isn't enough sunlight to recharge it and has been dormant ever since... but to be perfectly honest, both well outlasted their projected 90 day lifespan, and with luck we can expect the same from Curiosity, so depending on how close this is to Gale Crater (it can't travel more than a few hundred meters per day), that might some day be a possibility.