Neil deGrasse Tyson Picks Holes in Gravity

For a start, he says, it should be called 'Angular Momentum'
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2013 3:57 PM CDT
Neil deGrasse Tyson Picks Holes in Gravity
In this image released by Norton Books, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, author of "The Pluto Files, The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet," is shown.   (AP Photo/Norton Books)

Because it wouldn't be a sci-fi film if geeks didn't tear it to shreds on the Internet, celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has taken to Twitter to unravel what he deems the "mysteries of Gravity"—a film he says would more aptly be titled "Angular Momentum," though one he nevertheless professes to have enjoyed "very much." Just some of deGrasse Tyson's quibbles, per the Atlantic Wire:

  • "Nearly all satellites orbit Earth west to east yet all satellite debris portrayed orbited east to west."
  • "Satellite communications were disrupted at 230 mi up, but communications satellites orbit 100x higher."
  • "Why Bullock's hair, in otherwise convincing zero-G scenes, did not float freely on her head."

  • "How Hubble (350mi up) ISS (230mi up) & a Chinese Space Station are all in sight lines of one another."
  • "Why Bullock, a medical Doctor, is servicing the Hubble Space Telescope."
  • "Why we enjoy a SciFi film set in make-believe space more than we enjoy actual people set in real space."
Meanwhile, the New York Times reviewer took an actual astronaut to see the film—an engineer who had repaired the Hubble Space Telescope himself, no less—and nitpicks a plot hole "big enough to drive the Starship Enterprise through": The astronauts in the film use a jetpack to travel from the Hubble to the International Space Station, even though they're so far apart even a space shuttle couldn't make the journey. And CNN rounds up the complaints of even more disgruntled scientists from around the Web. (More gravity stories.)

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