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“One of the really fun things about science consulting is that it’s often a question of what do you need for the storyline and I will find a way to make it happen,” she says. “So what is the situation that is required? Let’s figure out the plausibility behind that, here is your science to support the story you’re going to tell anyway.”

McKinnon continues that she and the other science advisers on Moonfall used real scientific models to map out just what things on Earth might look like if the Moon began skimming closer to the surface.

“As the moon gets closer, its orbit is going to go faster and faster and faster, just like if you’re putting your arms in or out when spinning around in an office chair — you’re going to go slower or faster,” she says. “So we did model that out. We also talked about things like objects having a Roche limit, a point where their gravity is strong enough to start shredding objects…(So the Earth) would shred the moon.”

As for whether humanity — or least some representatives of it, such as those played in the movie by Halle Berry (Bruised), Patrick Wilson (Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom) and John Bradley (Game of Thrones) — could mobilize their resources to stave off the catastrophic collision of the Moon and Earth, even McKinnon’s skills at modeling and predicting large-scale disasters are not enough to definitively answer that question.

“We are not easily motivated into collective action in a lot of ways,” she says. “We talk about this in disaster science — that we survive together or die alone, that we need to work together in order to survive. You need to be able to have the efforts of more than just one person or one small group in order to have that resiliency and the adaptability and the ability to rebuild. It is challenging to see us taking collective action when we’re seeing worsening climate disasters, and when we’re two years into a pandemic where we’re still running into issues with collective action and policy decisions and access to vaccines and all of that. So it’s really challenging to see us come together on this.”

In other words, while the events of Moonfall might be far-fetched on their own, the idea of humanity coming together to save itself might be the real leap of imagination.

Source: Den of Geek

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