Now and then, movie lovers are really confused about the reality behind their favorite movies. They often wonder whether the movies are based on real-life stories or it’s pure fiction. Netflix’s Don’t Look Up is one of them! An American satirical science fiction film that is extremely hilarious, but it brings out serious discussion about human behavior. A comet posing a threat to Earth, is it really something that can happen to us in the future? Today we are going to talk about the same.
The plot of Netflix’s Don’t Look Up can be real or not?
So, Netflix recently took an interview with Dante Lauretta, a regents professor of planetary science and cosmochemistry at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. He is also the leader of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return mission, which tracked one of the most potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids.
“What is the actual likelihood of a comet destroying the Earth?”
Dante Lauretta claims that the production team of the film did genuine research on the science background. The film has used Gauss’s method of orbital determination and average astrometric uncertainty to determine the comet’s trajectory. The comet always needs a series of follow-on observations to observe whether they are disastrous in nature.
So, Lauretta explains, “When you discover [a comet], you have a very limited arc. So, if you’re looking at the comet against the background [or] starfield, depending on its orbit, you really need to get a series of observations. You want to look at it over multiple days, multiple weeks, and, ultimately, multiple years, if you can. The uncertainty is going to be a function of how short your arc is, how little of its orbit you actually watched it move across. The longer the baseline, the tighter the constraint on its future position will be. Usually, when you discover it, it’s unknown what its orbit could be, [so] that you can’t really tell if it’s gonna hit the Earth or not.”
In the film, the comet is roughly five to 10 kilometers wide which is roughly comparable to the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. So, it’s still quite a probability that a comet of that size strikes the Earth, it can cause destruction.
Lauretta claims, “The things you said at the beginning all sounded credible, like the science that we would talk about. And [a comet striking the Earth and causing destruction is] a low probability, but it’s not zero, and that makes a great movie.”
While all of this seems unreal, we shouldn’t eliminate the possibility of a natural disaster. Have you watched the film? Let us know your reviews in the comments.