Movies

Real-Life Physicist Gives Bruce Willis' Cult Disaster Movie a D- For Realism

Real-Life Physicist Gives Bruce Willis' Cult Disaster Movie a D- For Realism
Image credit: Legion-Media

It is rare for disaster movies to be scientifically accurate, and this 25-year-old film is no exception.

Armageddon, released in 1998, became a cult disaster movie, but with some reservations: Michael Bay's film is full of mistakes and scientific inaccuracies, which does not prevent it from remaining one of the most famous representatives of the genre.

A huge asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and its trajectory cannot be changed. According to scientists, in two and a half weeks it will collide with our planet and destroy everything.

NASA employees find the only way to prevent a catastrophe: to land a group of astronauts on the asteroid, who will drill a hole in it and place a bomb inside. When a powerful explosion occurs, the asteroid will break into fragments, minimizing the damage from its collision.

In the recent Insider video, nuclear physicist Greg Spriggs watched some of the Armageddon scenes and gave it a one for realism. According to the physicist, it is very unlikely that a nuclear weapon could destroy such a large asteroid. Also, there is no shock wave in space, and if you saw an explosion in space, it would be just a very short flash:

“In outer space, of course, there is no shock wave, and if there was, why would it be disk-shaped? It's a spherical shock wave. There would be a bright flash, and everything would cool within 20 microseconds, so you wouldn't be seeing this long glow.”

If you ignore the many inaccuracies, artistic assumptions, excessive pathos of Bay's directorial style, and treat the project as a guilty pleasure, then the movie is really not that bad.

Moreover, the numbers speak in its favor: with a budget of $140 million, Armageddon managed to pay off four times over, earning its creators $553 million.

It is curious and ironic that the influence of Armageddon has extended to the space sphere: at NASA, this movie is shown during the training program for new personnel.

Candidates are given the task of finding as many scientific errors in the movie as possible – there are 168 in total. So Michael Bay's movie had an unplanned but positive effect after all.

Source: Insider

It is rare for disaster movies to be scientifically accurate, and this 25-year-old film is no exception.

Armageddon, released in 1998, became a cult disaster movie, but with some reservations: Michael Bay's film is full of mistakes and scientific inaccuracies, which does not prevent it from remaining one of the most famous representatives of the genre.

A huge asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and its trajectory cannot be changed. According to scientists, in two and a half weeks it will collide with our planet and destroy everything.

NASA employees find the only way to prevent a catastrophe: to land a group of astronauts on the asteroid, who will drill a hole in it and place a bomb inside. When a powerful explosion occurs, the asteroid will break into fragments, minimizing the damage from its collision.

In the recent Insider video, nuclear physicist Greg Spriggs watched some of the Armageddon scenes and gave it a one for realism. According to the physicist, it is very unlikely that a nuclear weapon could destroy such a large asteroid. Also, there is no shock wave in space, and if you saw an explosion in space, it would be just a very short flash:

“In outer space, of course, there is no shock wave, and if there was, why would it be disk-shaped? It's a spherical shock wave. There would be a bright flash, and everything would cool within 20 microseconds, so you wouldn't be seeing this long glow.”

If you ignore the many inaccuracies, artistic assumptions, excessive pathos of Bay's directorial style, and treat the project as a guilty pleasure, then the movie is really not that bad.

Moreover, the numbers speak in its favor: with a budget of $140 million, Armageddon managed to pay off four times over, earning its creators $553 million.

It is curious and ironic that the influence of Armageddon has extended to the space sphere: at NASA, this movie is shown during the training program for new personnel.

Candidates are given the task of finding as many scientific errors in the movie as possible – there are 168 in total. So Michael Bay's movie had an unplanned but positive effect after all.

Source: Insider