Neil deGrasse Tyson Questions Scientific Accuracy of ‘Gravity’
Yes, we are well aware that the blockbuster film Gravity isn’t meant to be a documentary. And while most films take a great number of liberties with what can and should happen in certain situations, film makers should be well aware that when you make a science-based film, you’re going to be held to a higher level of scutiny to remain scientifically accurate, more so than if you make G.I. Joe: Retalliation.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the most famous scientists alive, recently took to Twitter to pose a few questions about the accuracy of the Sandra Bullock/George Clooney team up. (Warning: Minor Spoilers)
Mysteries of #Gravity: How Hubble (350mi up) ISS (230mi up) & a Chinese Space Station are all in sight lines of one another.
Mysteries of #Gravity: When Clooney releases Bullock’s tether, he drifts away. In zero-G a single tug brings them together.
Mysteries of #Gravity: Why Bullock’s hair, in otherwise convincing zero-G scenes, did not float freely on her head.
Mysteries of #Gravity: Nearly all satellites orbit Earth west to east yet all satellite debris portrayed orbited east to west.
Mysteries of #Gravity: Satellite communications were disrupted at 230 mi up, but communications satellites orbit 100x higher.
And aside from the jabs at the lack of accuracy in the film, Tyson also took a small jab at the audience and their lack of interest in actual space adventures,
Mysteries of #Gravity: Why we enjoy a SciFi film set in make-believe space more than we enjoy actual people set in real space.
Tyson did go on to say that while he was critical of the fact checking in the film, he did greatly enjoy it. Director Alfonzo Cuaron had previously addressed several examples of inaccuracy in interviews, saying that certain liberties had to be taken for the benefit of making a compelling film, such as Bullock’s and Clooney’s characters not using their solar shields so the actors’ faces could be seen. However, Cuaron was successful in one piece of space accuracy that others like Michael Bay and J.J. Abrams failed miserably at, the lack of sound in space. In Gravity, no external sounds are heard while in space, only sounds within the actors’ spacesuits.
Via Huffington Post