Thanks To Movies You’re Imagining Asteroid Fields 100% Wrong

We all are well aware that asteroid realms are dangerous because — to quote C-3PO from Star Wars the odds of navigating one are 3,720 to 1. In real life, though, C-3PO could’ve merely sighed and taken a nap, because Han Solo likely couldn’t have hit an asteroid unless he was truly dreadful at flying the Millennium Falcon .

Lucasfilm “Eh, put it on autopilot, Chewie. I got make an ‘asteroid field’ of my own to make and a princess to sexually harass.”

The usual distance between two asteroids is 1-3 million kilometers, building them far more spread apart than the densely clustered ones that we usually see in Hollywood blockbusters. In photographs of space, asteroids look like they’re right next to each other …

NASA/ JPL-Caltech


… but these depicts never do a great job of demonstrating scale. By outer space standards, two asteroids being “close” still means they’ll likely move their entire existences without ever coming remotely close to colliding.( Plus, they’re actually gradually moving away from each other .)

Even with more than a half-million asteroids in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, large crashes are virtually nonexistent. So yes, we’re afraid that the classic arcade game Asteroids isn’t 100 percentage scientifically accurate either( that is, unless we presume the game’s ship was 250,000, 000 kilometres away ).

Even if they’re not accurate, asteroid fields sure make for some great art .

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