An Astronomer Speaks about The Scientific Accuracy of Bruce Willis’ “Armageddon” Movie

If you’re a Bruce Willis fan, surely you know about one of his most famous movies: Armageddon, a Sci-Fi production released over two decades ago, in 1998. With other big names into the cast like Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, William Fichtner, Michael Clarke Duncan, and more, the movie was a major blockbuster.

Armageddon made over $500 million at the box office, and mostly because of its insanely spectacular plot: an asteroid the size of Texas was ready to wipe out all life on Earth. NASA concluded that it would be useless to simply fire nukes at it by trying to blast the rock apart. Instead, the American space agency decided to appoint a team of wacky oil drillers to stick a nuclear bomb directly into the asteroid’s belly. The team was led by Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis), and they only had several weeks of training for going into space for the first and maybe the last time.

Can Armageddon’s scenario be applied in reality?

Jackie Faherty, an astronomer working at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History, revealed for Yahoo! News that she gets asked about the scientific accuracy of the Armageddon movie:

Is there an asteroid out there that is gonna hit earth and cause either massive destruction or possibly destroy the planet? The movies that exist out there about what could happen — Armageddon being one of the more famous ones — that movie is about as scientifically incorrect as one can get.

Oddly enough, the astronomer didn’t specify how realistic it is to appoint a team of oil drillers to introduce a bomb deep into an asteroid in order to blow it to bits. Furthermore, it would also be interesting to find out how realistic it would be to train those oil drillers in order to make them astronauts in a very short time.

Scientifically accurate or not, Armageddon was still a great movie, and its ending pulled out more tears from us than there are stars in the Galaxy.

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