Monday, August 30, 2010

Geological Movie Review of Armageddon - Part 11

- Overview (or important thoughts to take home) -
  • This movie is based on the concept that eventually an asteroid is going to strike Earth with the power to cause the extinction of the human race
  • Fire trails can only be made by meteors in an atmosphere, so the meteors hitting the shuttle would not produce this effect
  • Meteors that originate from a single source, like the asteroid, would only travel in parallel lines, so all meteors will travel at the same angle across the sky, unlike that seen in the movie
  • For the meteor shower to hit the Earth the way described, the Earth would have to have traveled through a stream of meteors, not head on into it which is implied
  • There are no asteroids in the asteroid belt "the size of Texas" and there is only one that is relatively close to that size
  • For NASA not to know about the asteroid in advance it would have to have been struck by something to alter its trajectory dramatically, which is what happened
  • There are theoretical comets that could hit and move the asteroid into our path but the chances are slim to none in a billion
  • None of the plans to destroy or move the asteroid are feasible given their time frame, especially the one they choose
  • Most asteroid destruction plans mentioned in the movie were taken from the NASA website as possible path altering options for asteroids, but only for ones that will not hit the Earth for several years
  • An 800 foot hole is 0.02% deep into the 780 mile asteroid so a bomb will do no more damage then if it blew up on the surface
  • Also the asteroid would be layered on the inside so no fault is going to run the length of the entire asteroid
  • The equipment used at NASA is all possible equipment they could have now or invent in a short time. The NASA advisors must actually have known something
  • Also the liftoff sequence and events all seem pretty close to real-life
  • The fuel used on the shuttle is not compatible to the fuel available on Mir, and they would not have used any fuel in the main shuttle getting there anyway, so the trip to Mir was pointless
  • Mir also could not produce gravity by spinning, nor would it be possible due to the shape of the station
  • The "slingshot" around the moon was possible as shown in the movie
  • The surface of the asteroid would resemble the moon more than anything else, no random growths, little to few valleys, and lots and lots of craters
  • Should the destruction plan have actually succeeded there is no way a bomb would be powerful enough to break apart the two pieces of the asteroid and disintegrate all the smaller pieces while still keeping the two main pieces intact.
- Non-Geological Notes -
  • Not much non-geology/NASA gripes I have with the movie
  • I like this quote though:
    • Lev - "Components, American components, Russian Components. All made in Taiwan!"

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