We all have a favourite space movie, cult classics such as the Alien series, Interstellar, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars are watched by millions over and over again. But do you really believe the plots and tech in these movies? Many of the scenes in these movies will have us believe many myths about space that are not accurate. Check out these 8 space myths we believe because of movies…
1. Sound in Space
Many space movies include explosions in fact pretty much all the space fight scenes have them. Of course when something explodes in the movies a massive sound effect is played for maximum effect. However this sound is simply not true in any way, sound cannot travel in space because of the lack of air and vibrating molecules. If sound could exist in space in theory we would constantly hear all the sounds of the universe, the sun alone would make constant massive thermonuclear explosion sounds! Movies add sound to make a better impact on screen, only movies like Stanley Kubricks 2001 have got this right so far!
2. Laser Beams are visible
Sci-Fi movies feature laser beams (usually in the form of weapons) all the time, we are even close to having laser weapons on our earth battlefields. However most people wouldn’t know that they are nothing like they are on the screen, a laser beam is a burst of concentrated energy which in reality would be completely invisible in space as there isn’t any particles around the beam to scatter light.
In many movies black holes suck in and consume everything, anything inside them can never escape. Most of us believe this and see them as vortices of utter doom, but if you read even the basic description of black holes you would learn that their pull is only proportional to their mass. In reality, they cannot pull in anything more than their size will allow. It is true that a black hole will consume anything near its event horizon, however it would have little effect on anything outside this radius (which is often quite small).
4. Explosions in outer space
Similar to the sound in space point, explosions in space in sci-fi movies are usually spectacular. Massive explosion special effects in high definition are usually breathtaking, however, whether these explosions can really occur is another matter. Explosions here on earth occur as they do because of air and gravity, neither of which exists in space. Explosions in space would be very different, some fire would exist even though air is not present, but the fire would look more like an expanding light ball. Of course any objects blown from the blast would cause significant danger to anything nearby!
5. Warface in space – just everything!
Of course the only reference movie makers have to warfare is the warfare that occurs here on earth. In many films space fights are very similar to the World War plane dogfights, spaceships flying and looping like they would in the sky. Of course as great as this looks it’s not really reality,
Dogfight tactics would not work in space due to the gravity and lack of air. Many warfare tactics could still apply however the movement of all things in space in reality would be nothing like our memories of Star Wars.
Many people believe you are weightless in space, probably because there is no gravity and the fact that many movies base space life on this fact. It is true that astronauts feel weightless in space, but this is only when they are in orbit around a larger body such as earth. If you are not in the orbit of a larger body then you are always under the influence of some form of gravity, even if it is very weak.
7. Deadly asteroid belts
Many films in particular Star Wars depict asteroid belts as deadly and extremely chaotic environments, scenes with space craft navigating through them and exploding as they hit asteroids are brilliant. Its true these asteroid belts do exist but in reality they are very different. NASA has sent probes through belts in our galaxy, the odds of colliding with an asteroid are about one in a billion! The belts are so huge and over time have less and less asteroids in them, meaning the asteroids are very far apart within the belts. Even if you flew through one blind folded you would probably still make it out alive!
8. The sun is yellow
The sun, the main reason we are all alive, is believed to be yellow and on fire, but not many of us actually understand what’s happening inside the sun. The sun is not yellow at all, it only appears yellow are the Earth’s atmosphere gives it a yellow tint. The light from the sun is actually pure white, also the sun isn’t actually burning in any way there is no fire, instead the sun’s heat is generated from fusion reactions from all the molecules within the sun’s core.