Armageddon

When all the big asteroid films came out a few years ago, I somehow managed to miss Armageddon. From what I saw of the reviews I didn't miss much. Last night it was on Channel 5 in the UK so I thought I would see what I made of it. How wrong can the physics be? It was awful. Gravity (or lack of) was only taken into account when they felt like it - they spent most of their time in space seemingly working with 1g (the same as on Earth). This was true in both the MIR space station (even if they did try to get around it by spinning MIR up) and also on the asteroid which was only the size of Texas. At one point they claimed the asteroid would have a similar gravity to the Moon (wrong) which itself provides only about 1/6th as much as we experience at the Earth's surface. Someone send the makers a G.C.S.E science text book please.

At the very start I also noticed that they had the Moon the wrong way round. The camera showed the near-side of the Moon before 'flying' past it to reveal the Earth inhabited by the dinosaurs. This is bad because the Moon is tidally locked with the Earth so that we only ever see one side - actually it slightly wobbles to let us see slightly around the edges. Even 65 million years ago it was locked so the near-side would still have been the near-side and therefore not visible in that shot. However, I was pleasantly surprised that they managed to get both the Earth and Moon in the same phase which shows that the computer simulation software at least knew some physics of light sources even if the film makers didn't.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Monday 24th May 2004 (19:16 UTC) | Permalink
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