DeGrasse Tyson Cares Not For Gravity's Charms

Monday, 07 October 2013 - 12:37PM
Monday, 07 October 2013 - 12:37PM
DeGrasse Tyson Cares Not For Gravity's Charms

When I watched Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity last week, I was absolutely blown away by just about every aspect of it, from the visuals to the sheer ambition of the project, it all just struck me as pure brilliance. I wasn't alone in my awe either. James Cameron, Chris Hadfield and Buzz Aldrin were among the big names to heap praise on the space thriller and, for a while it seemed as though Cuaron's movie could do no wrong. But then Neil deGrasse Tyson cast his knowing eye on it and proceeded to knock the film out of it's lofty orbit of praise with a series of fact checking tweets entitled 'Mysteries of Gravity'. 


So, what according to the sassy astrophysicist did Alfonso Cuaron and his team get wrong? 


- "The film #Gravity should be renamed 'Zero Gravity' "


- "The film #Gravity should be renamed 'Angular Momentum' "


- "The film #Gravity depicts a scenario of catastrophic satellite destruction that can actually happen"


- "Mysteries of #Gravity: Why Bullock, a medical doctor is servicing the Hubble Space Telescope"


- "Mysteries of #Gravity: How Hubble (350mi up) ISS (230 mi 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: When anyone is impressed with a zero-G film 45 years after being impressed with "2001: A Space Odyssey"."


- "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 230 mi up, but communications satellites orbit 100x higher."


- "Mysteries of #Gravity: Why we enjoy a SciFi film set in make-believe space more than we enjoy actual people set in real space."


So there you have it. It would appear that Mr. DeGrasse Tyson was not enamoured with certain 'physics aspects' of Gravity, but shouldn't every film be allowed to take a little bit of artistic license? Did Gravity get enough things correct to earn a slight slackening of reality in other areas? Frankly, I don't give a damn. This was a fantastic film and deserves all the accolades it will no doubt receive in the upcoming awards season. Even DeGrasse Tyson said he enjoyed the film despite all of its inaccuracies:


- "My tweets hardly ever convey opinion. Mostly perspectives on the world. But if you must know, I enjoyed #Gravity very much." 

Science of Sci-Fi

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