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Professor Decimus Phostle (French: Professeur Hippolyte Calys) is the director of an observatory and an absent-minded professor whom Tintin consults about a large bright star he saw one night.


Tintin hears from Phostle about a ball of fire that will hit Earth and end the world the following morning, Tintin visit's Phostle's laboratory. he actually looks forward to this, thinking that predicting the end of mankind would make him famous. Initially disappointed that the meteor has missed the Earth, Phostle consoles himself by naming an unknown metal fallen from the asteroid after himself. He then headed the Aurora Expedition which set sail to study a fragment of the asteroid that landed on Earth in the Arctic Circle. They managed to claim the fragment ahead of the Peary. Phostle was initially to return in Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon, this time as a villain, but that early draft by Bernard Heuvelmans was abandoned by Hergé.


Professor Phostle strives to be very accurate (when he and his assistant had wrong calculations, he threw various objects at him) and is a stickler for making sure that his doings are correct. It is apparent that he often gets very angry if he is wrong, even when it means the world would be destroyed if he were correct. However, Phostle appears have a more compassionate side to his personality as displayed with him caring about other people's lives if in danger. As made clear when there was a distress signal during the Aurora's course, he immediately said the crew must come to the victim's aid.