"Armageddon" And "Deep Impact" Movie Response: Is The Science Behind These Films Real?

1146 words - 5 pages

The movies "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact" each have a number of distinct errors in their storyline and details. These errors, although hidden at first, must be criticized, due to their significance in the world of science. Some parts of each movie are more important to note as being false than others, and these will be reviewed.The movie "Armageddon", which was watched in class, involved impending doom due to an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Bruce Willis, the best oil-driller in the world, as well as his crew, including Ben Affleck, are selected by the U.S government to go into space and detonate nuclear warheads inside the asteroid. After a slingshot maneuver around the moon using the force of gravity, they drill and set the warheads, and other drama and exciting subplots ensue. Willis stays behind to detonate the warheads, just before the zero-barrier mark, and the Earth is saved. The rest of the crew returns home, and life continues.The second film, "Deep Impact", was released in the same year as "Armageddon", and has a nearly identical crisis, except with a comet, instead of an asteroid. U.S and Russia build the biggest spaceship ever, to drill nuclear warheads into the comet. These warheads breaks the comet into two, but a barrage of missiles are fired to stop the two comets, but these fail as well. The first comet hits, with massive tidal waves. The second, bigger part of the original comet is destroyed when the spaceship beats it back to earth, turns around, and torpedoes directly into the comet with yet even more nuclear warheads that are left over inside. Millions are lost from the tidal wave, but life goes on."Armageddon", which I feel was a better movie, seemed to have a good deal of false science involved in it. However, three major parts of the movie stand out.The first scene to be discussed is the sequences in which we see some of the biggest cities in the world being hit. "Over seventy percent of the globe is covered in water, and there is a mere percent chance that all of the three impacts we see hit New York, Shanghai, and Paris." (Jenson) Yet we see quite graphic shots of the three cities mentioned being demolished. The science in the effect of the impacts is real, with the earth being demolished on impact, as well as the powerful tornado/earthquake after-effect that is shown, specifically in the Paris sequence.The second idea that was portrayed incorrectly was that NASA wasn't able to see this asteroid until 18 days before possible impact. No one in the world could see it, despite the fact that the asteroid portrayed in the movie is "about a million times larger (in mass and energy) than any Earth-crossing asteroid" we know of (Morrison, par. 4, lines 9-10). It is also "30 times closer" than the most high-risk asteroid we are in danger of currently. A learned astronomer is able to see that asteroid with a naked eye, so the proposed statistics of the asteroid in Armageddon would make it incredibly visible, and the...

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