Space is big. Space is very, very big. Because space is big, objects are usually very far apart. But empty skies and vast lanes of the void of space are not aesthetically pleasing. This trope is in effect when objects in space are visible in locations where they make no sense, either due to the science or due to pre-established canon.
Related Tropes: Asteroid Thicket
, Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale
, Science Marches On
(for some examples base on older information). Subtrope of Space Does Not Work That Way
- In Robotech/Macross, the Zentradi destroy an object after the SDF-1 leaves Mars orbit but before reaching Earth. Even though there aren't even asteroids between Earth and Mars in regular orbits the object is very clearly spherical making it at the very least a Dwarf Planet (and those have certainly all been accounted for). In the dub Lisa refers to it as the planet Palomir.
- Trope Namer is an early episode of Star Trek in which Spock tells Uhura the trope name in response to her flirting. In contrast, Star Trek: The Motion Picture shows a massive "moon" in the sky. Justified in that it's so big, in fact, that Vulcan does not technically have a moon; Vulcan is a binary planet. This specificity is quite within Vulcan character. Nevertheless, the Re Cut of Star Trek: The Motion Picture removed the moon specifically to fix this problem.
- In the 2009 reboot, apparently Delta Vega is close enough for Spock Prime to witness the destruction of Vulcan without a telescope. This ends up Handwaved as a psychic vision.
- In John Carter, Mars's moons are shown as two huge spheres in the sky that are always right next to each other. In reality, Mars's moons are extremely tiny, and their orbital rates are so different — 2.7 days east-to-west for Deimos, 11 hours west-to-east for Phobos — so they don't stay lined up together in the sky. Never mind the fact that Phobos and Deimos aren't even remotely spherical, being essentially large asteroids caught in Mars' orbit.
- World of Warcraft: When standing on the peak of the Black Temple on Outland, while within the raid, Azeroth is clearly visible in the sky. Most notably, the Maelstrom - a gigantic, ever-spinning, logic- and physics-defying whirlpool - is the most obvious landmark. Outland is by no means visible from the other planet.
- Likewise, for quite a long time, one of Azeroth's two moons was missing. They seem to have brought it back in either Cataclysm or Mists of Pandaria.
- Futurama tends to show Mars with Earth clearly visible in the sky, and oversized moons. This is presumably Rule of Cool, as the creators would definitely know better. On the other hand, due to the use of Stock Footage, the Earth is shown rotating in the correct direction even after its rotation was reversed.