Neil DeGrasse Tyson Calls Out Prometheus For Its Sketchy Science

Illustration for article titled Neil DeGrasse Tyson Calls Out Prometheus For Its Sketchy Science

Most science fiction fans are happy to shrug off technical inaccuracies while enjoying a movie. But not if you're the director of the Hayden Planetarium and a world-renowned astrophysicist. Which is why Neil DeGrasse Tyson couldn't help but question one of Prometheus' technical gaffes.

In the film they travel 35 light years into space, which Charlize Theron's character comments as being about half a billion miles from Earth. But that estimate's a little off. Like, way off. As Tyson points out, half a billion miles from Earth would only put you just past Jupiter. In reality, a single light year equates to 5.88 trillion miles, not billion. So 35 light years would have put the crew some 205.8 trillion miles away from the Earth. Well past Jupiter, and well outside of our solar system.

So thanks Neil for keeping an eye out for bad science in movies. The world's a more well-informed place as long as you're keeping watch. [Twitter - Neil DeGrasse Tyson via Geekosystem]


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For an astronomer, he is not looking any further that the place where he lives. The international system of measurement (you now the one that the whole world holds as standard except the united states of America) a billion is actually 1 million millions (1,000,000,000,000). What America calls a billion is actually 1 thousand millions (1,000,000,000). So hopefully, in the future, English speaking people had finally caught up with the rest of the world with their numbering system and 1 billion miles is what Americans now call 1 trillion.