Film Deep Impact Discussion

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03:08:39 PM Jun 6th 2013
edited by
Deleted some Natter that violated Example Indentation from these trope listings.

Apathetic Citizens
  • Possibly justified — it's not like there's anywhere else to go.

Government Conspiracy

Outrun the Fireball
  • The force of the waves smacking off of the hills in the background should have shook the ground and made it difficult to run.

Deleted the following from trope entries because they have nothing to with the trope.

Made of Explodium
  • Not to mention that his phone somehow broke at a convenient moment, leading him to take a high-speed chase to deliver the information; since of course seconds counted in stopping the comet— and yet the crash delayed the discovery by over two months.
  • And the aforementioned space shuttle, which was more effective than all the nukes on earth at blowing the comet to pieces.

Suicide Mission
  • Surprisingly, no mention was made of the fact that, since their spacecraft uses an Orion Drive, its fuel supply is nuclear bombs.
04:04:58 AM Mar 4th 2013
This entry has some valid points, but it is long, rambling, and filled with Natter. Can someone more attuned with the science behind it clean this one up?

  • Hollywood Science: Deep Impact was lauded by critics and astronomers as more scientifically accurate than its rival, Armageddon. That's like saying Jurassic Park was more scientifically accurate than Godzilla.
    • You cannot determine the course and speed of a comet from one picture.
      • It is possible, sort of. Blue- and Redshifting occurs where the light from an interstellar object shifts slightly towards the blue end of the visible spectrum (implying that it is moving towards the observer, and therefore Earth) VS towards the red end of the visible spectrum (implying that the object is moving away from the observer, and therefore Earth), respectively. However, neither one is mentioned in the movie.
      • In real life astronomers would go and look back at older pictures to see if they can find the comet there, and then after getting several such images, calculate the trajectory.
    • The gas on a comet does not start igniting the second sunlight hits it. For that matter, why is a comet (made of dust, ICE and small rocks) creating gas that ignites in space?
    • The blast from the first nukes cause damage to the ship when it's several miles away, meaning those are not low yield bombs, but somehow all that energy at ground zero of the blast just cause a clean separation of the comet into two. Then ICMBs launched at the comets later on fail to divert them, even though those missiles are powerful enough to level cities, which neither comet is bigger than. The comets aren't even solid rock. They're made of bits of rock in a bunch of gas and ice, the latter of which would be vaporized by the heat of a nuke. Of course this is for the sake of the story, but worthy of praise of scientific accuracy?
      • One should also consider the very real possibility that many of the ICB Ms missed. ICB Ms are designed for suborbital trajectories, in which they fall back onto targets on the earth. That means that the missiles would not actually even have enough power to get into earth orbit, much less reliably hit something out in space. Since they were launched as a last ditch effort there would have been little time to recalculate their trajectories, or do anything to enhance the power of their rockets.
      • Consider that a city is gone when all its buildings are destroyed, not when there is a crate 500 feet deep and a few miles wide, which is something a nuke can't even come close to producing.
    • The tail of the comet is always shown trailing after it, because people think that's how comets look. Actually the so-called tail is always on the opposite side from the star the comet orbits.
    • Anyone close enough to see the comet's entry into the atmosphere would be pulverized from the soundwaves alone. Nobody on that Virginia highway would be alive to see the tsunami coming for them.
    • In reality, shattering the comet into many smaller pieces would make little difference. Would you rather get hit by a bowling ball thrown as fast as a car or the same bowling ball broken into chunks going as fast as a car? BOTH options HURT. Even if all those chunks burn up in the atmosphere, that's a lot of things burning up in the atmosphere in the same place at the same time. It still would be unpleasant for the planet.
    • Impact-induced waves don't travel like tsunamis do-they're a different type of wave, and they tend to peter out before they go more than a few dozen miles, a few hundred tops. Plus, waves have a hard time traveling very far inland because they're fighting gravity and friction with the ground along the way. This means that while Biederman would have doomed large swaths of Virgina, Maryland, North and South Carolina, and Delaware, the rest of the country and the world would have been fine.
      • The wave itself has a serious case of Hollywood Density. Water is heavy-a cubic meter weighs a metric ton, which is 2,205 lbs. At the bottom of the 3500-foot wave, the pressure would be 1,520 pounds per square inch. Every single skyscraper in Manhattan would have torn off its foundations and broken up into very, very small pieces.