Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Armageddon & Physics Essay Example for Free
Armageddon Physics Essay In 2007, the September 1st issue of The New Scientist alleges that the film Armageddon is shown by the management training programs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A 1998 Jerry Bruckheimer-produced disaster thriller directed by Michael Bay in which deep core drillers attempt to avert an asteroidÃ¢â¬â¢s collision with the planet Earth, The New Scientist contends that NASAÃ¢â¬â¢s screening of a razzle-dazzle blockbuster claiming ground in science, is purely for entertainment purposes. Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ ¦the screenings are just a game for NASAs space geeks: who can find the highest number of impossible things in the movie? The record, [Ã¢â¬ ¦] stands at 168. Ã¢â¬ Regarding the scientific fallaciousness of Armageddon, astronomer Philip Plait has many contentions. Plait notes that the introductory premise of the film, in which an asteroid of the same size which humanity faces was a Ã¢â¬Å"dinosaur killerÃ¢â¬ that possesses the same destructive capacity of Ã¢â¬Å"10,000 nuclear weapons. Ã¢â¬ However, he asserts that this is a severe underestimation, for the fictional asteroid would actually release at the very least, eight hundred thousand nuclear weapons, based on conservative estimates. Plait implicitly infers that the writers were going for a dramatic figure, but one whose complete lack of scientific basis leads to a severe underestimate. It is also preposterous for it to be impossible to communicate the drilling experience of an oil rig crew to astronauts or engineers, former engineer turned writer Tom Rogers notes. However, this is how the movie rationalizes the oil rig crewÃ¢â¬â¢s participation in EarthÃ¢â¬â¢s salvation despite their complete lack of astronautical experience. But even excusing such a premise, Rogers notes that the film stretches credulity when the Mir space station rotates at high velocities to induce artificial gravity. Amazingly enough, it rotates so fast that it can create gravitonic conditions in under half a minute, despite the fact that the Mir stationÃ¢â¬â¢s mass exceeds a hundred tons. RogersÃ¢â¬â¢ contention in this scenario is that the planetary gravity conditions could not be possibly simulated unless the humanÃ¢â¬â¢s height is a small percentage of the rotational radius. As such, the astronauts would only experience gravitonic force on both ends of their bodies, which would feel Ã¢â¬Å"disorienting and probably cause [them] to stumble and vomit. Ã¢â¬ The Jupiter Scientific Organization also asserts that NASAÃ¢â¬â¢s plan of inserting a hydrogen bomb eight hundred feet deep into an asteroid that is three hundred miles wide Ã¢â¬â essentially a Texas-sized asteroid, which is exactly what it is called at one point in the film Ã¢â¬â does not actually scale very well. The filmÃ¢â¬â¢s core (all pun intended) premise is actually absurd: attempting to split an asteroid with two pieces by exploding it with a hydrogen from within would be like hypothesizing that a single hydrogen bomb could fracture the state of Texas. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"like a pin-sized hole no deeper than a scratch in a ten-foot rock. Ã¢â¬ Such a hydrogen bomb Ã¢â¬Å"would roughly be like lighting a match. Can the ignition of such a match split a ten-foot rock? Ã¢â¬ Rogers also observes that a flaming shuttle crash site contradicts what the astronauts are told earlier about the gravity being about a tenth of that on the planet Earth. Such a low gravity cannot support an atmosphere Ã¢â¬â which is why they wear space suits in the first place: the asteroid surface does not and could not hold oxygen Ã¢â¬â yet for some reason, flames burn in the absence of oxygen. Lastly, a successfully halved asteroid would still be disaster, as the gravitonic forces they exert would cause catastrophic tidal changes that would eradicate most of the EarthÃ¢â¬â¢s population. Ã¢â¬Å"Sometimes theres just no way to have a happy ending,Ã¢â¬ Rogers notes. Works Cited Ã¢â¬Å"Feedback. Ã¢â¬ The New Scientist, Issue 2619. 01 September 2007.Plait, Phil. Ã¢â¬Å"The Astronomy of Armageddon. Ã¢â¬ Phil PlaitÃ¢â¬â¢s Bad Astronomy. 08 August 2007. Retrieved June 6, 2008 from: http://www. badastronomy. com/bad/movies/armpitageddon. html Ã¢â¬Å"Movie Review of Armageddon (and Deep Impact) from a Scientific Viewpoint. Ã¢â¬ Jupiter Scientific Information. July 1998. Retrieved June 6, 2008 from: http://www. jupiterscientific. org/sciinfo/armageddon. html Rogers, Tom. Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics: HollywoodÃ¢â¬â¢s Best Mistakes, Goofs and Flat-Out Destructions of the Basic Laws of the Universe. Connecticut: Sourcebooks Hysteria, 2007.