Planet Talk

Sci-fi Inaccuracies

As part of the Astrophysics Club in my school, I conducted research on a series of movies to determine their science fiction accuracies and inaccuracies. I then ranked the movies, Star Trek and Don’t Look Up, on a tierlist.

Don’t Look Up is a 2021 film about two astronauts who discover a comet approaching Earth and rush to tell the rest of mankind. Surprisingly enough, this movie was chock full of accuracies. The producers of the movie hired a scientific adviser, Dr. Amy Mainzer, to oversee the astronomical aspects of the movie. Hence, the comet was modeled after a real comet, NEOWISE. The comet, named Dibiasky in the movie, could really destroy earth in the case of its approach. Its size (of 5-6 miles), weight, and speed are all capable of obliterating our planet. Similarly, facts about the comet’s trajectory and timeline also coincide with an actual comet. Although most comets are discovered far in advance, some, like both NEOWISE and Dibiasky, were only discovered several months in advance.

Despite these accuracies, I found a couple inaccuracies within the movie as well. Firstly, such an event is extremely unlikely to occur, as expected. However, given the premise, it is also inaccurate in terms of governmental privacy and secrecy. In reality, if a comet approaching earth were to be discovered, the government would not be allowed to keep it a secret. The data would be reviewed and collaborated upon with countless other scientists and released to the public.

Overall, this movie has a significant amount of accuracy when compared to its inaccuracies, making it an S-tier movie, the highest rank possible.

In other news, last Sunday, there was a lunar eclipse that resulted in a blood moon. People from all over the world were able to see the stunning red illuminating from the moon, as shown in the image below.

lunar eclipse 2022


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